The Leadership Carteret class of 2018 learned about stormwater runoff at this year’s visit to the North Carolina Coastal Federation’s Ocean office.

Leadership Carteret is an annual program that brings together some of Carteret County’s top decision-makers and business leaders. During the 10-week program, members attend Wednesday presentations at organizations throughout the county. This year’s class included people from Carteret Community College, Emerald Isle Realty, Transportation Impact, Carteret County and other local businesses.

Rachel Bisesi, coastal education coordinator at the federation’s Ocean office, gave a brief overview of the organization’s mission. Kristin Gibson, AmeriCorps member at that same office, followed up with an explanation on watersheds and river basins.

The watershed restoration game

Bisesi and Gibson then had Leadership Carteret participants divide into five groups and play a watershed restoration game. Each group selected a best management practice (BMP) to reduce the amount of polluted stormwater flowing from their assigned site into the watershed. In the game, each group is assigned to a location — such as a residential area, a farm or a recreational area. The groups work together to install BMPs that reduce stormwater runoff pollution.

Following the watershed restoration game, Brooke Breen of the Outer Banks Wildlife Shelter (OWLS) gave a presentation on her work. She brought with her Dinah, an elderly barred owl that has lived at the shelter since arriving in 2000. Dinah had been hit by a car and was unable to survive successfully in the wild. Most animals that pass through OWLS, however, are successfully released. Breen said the shelter is always looking for donations of fish.

Steamed oysters and barbecue sponsored by Transportation Impact followed the presentations, and Leadership Carteret members lent a hand by recycling the oyster shells on-site. Bobby’s BBQ of Emerald Isle made the BBQ lunch.

Leadership Carteret has been visiting the federation’s office for more than 10 years. The federation is proud to have a relationship with the Carteret County business community and is always looking for ways to expand business relationships along the coast. Learn more.