Learn about Coastal Ecosystems during Touch Tank Tuesday

Don’t miss an opportunity to roll up your sleeves and join in on an excellent learning experience with Touch Tank Tuesday.

This event allows visitors of all ages to interact with different plants and animals that are found in the waters around Wrightsville beach. This summer we are partnering with Ecological Marine Adventures to create a one-of-a-kind experience. Not only will we have more diversity in coastal critters, but we will also be able to accommodate a more diverse audience as we will have Spanish-speaking instructors helping to lead the program.

Marine creatures range from sea urchins and blue crabs to red and green algae and orange horse conchs. During the event, visitors can learn about how they contribute to the coastal environment. Additionally, guests can use microscopes to view coastal organisms and create arts and crafts related to the coast

Coastal Educator Bonnie Mitchell is excited to bring this program back again this summer, “The best part about Touch Tank Tuesday is when the visitors light up as a hermit crab emerges from its shell or when they see a scallop propel itself through the water. I know they are making memories that they will never forget and that their appreciation for what’s in our water is growing. It is so fun being able to watch their amazement and curiosity as we introduce them to some of our favorite coastal critters like sea spiders and tulip whelks. And while the coastal critters certainly offer a lot of excitement, it also gives us a great opportunity to educate on all the ways that we can help their water quality and habitats.”

Touch Tank Tuesday is free to attend but registration is required. The event will run from 9:00 am- 12:00 pm every Tuesday until July 26th, we hope to see you there!

Off-Shore Wind Summit Brings Together Experts

The transition to clean energy, including offshore wind, is essential to fight the harmful effects of our changing climate. While offshore wind is an important tool to mitigate the harmful effects of carbon pollution on natural systems and wildlife, it is critical that important steps and safeguards be taken to better understand, reduce and mitigate the negative impacts of offshore wind projects on wildlife and the environment. 

Wind turbine from aerial view, Drone view at windpark westermeerdijk a windmill farm in the lake IJsselmeer the biggest in the Netherlands,Sustainable development, renewable energy Netherlands

That’s why leading experts from around North Carolina and the country are coming together for the North Carolina Offshore Wind and Wildlife Summit.

Through this summit, we are bringing together leading resource experts from across North Carolina and the country to better understand the potential impacts of offshore wind development on the environment and wildlife resources and to offer solutions and best practices that will guide regulators, wind developers, and other stakeholders to a shared pathway for responsible offshore wind development.

The event will take place on July 19th from 9:30 am- 4:00 pm at The Terraces at Sir Tyler in Wilmington.

Volunteers Help Create a Big Impact!

Summer has only just begun but our team has already been hard at work and thanks to the help of our volunteers we’ve been able to roll up our sleeves and dig into several marsh grass plantings. Over the course of multiple events and with the hard work of 86 volunteers we’ve been able to get more than 13,600 marsh grass plants in the ground at several sites including the future home of the Center for Coastal Protection and Restoration and Carteret Community College.

We would like to thank our volunteers from the community who joined in on these efforts including the Bosch Home Appliances Corporation, Parker Boats, Sea of Learning School, DukeEngage, and Carteret Community College.

While our summer plantings have ended, there are still other events going on this summer like our garden days at EarthWise garden. Check out our events calendars to see all of our upcoming events and to sign-up to join us.

Pelican Awards

Preparations are officially underway as we get ready to welcome you all back for a night of great music, food, and fun for our annual Pelican Awards. Each year we take time to honor some of our amazing and dedicated partners, and this year’s event is already shaping up to be a memorable one. The event will take place on Saturday, August 6th at the Crystal Coast Civic Center in Morehead City.

Don’t wait, buy your tickets now and join us for a night of amazing local oysters, a silent auction, and dancing as we celebrate another year of coastal protection and restoration!

Protecting and Preserving

In 1999, using a grant from the North Carolina Clean Water Management Trust Fund, the Coastal Federation helped Hammocks Beach State Park purchase Huggins Island, a 110-acre developable island in the White Oak River. Later that year, the island was incorporated into Hammocks Beach State Park and became permanently protected.

Huggins Island is home to a maritime swamp forest, which is listed as a Globally Rare and Significant Area. According to Hammocks Beach State Park, Huggins Island has a rich history, from Native American fishing and hunting grounds to even being home to a Confederate six-cannon battery in 1861-62. Its commanding view of Bogue Inlet and the town of Swansboro was an obvious strategic value. For visitors familiar with Hammocks Beach State Park, Huggins Island’s thick, dense maritime forest is a stark contrast to Bear Island’s sandy beach and open dunes bursting with sea oats.

Hammocks Beach is also known as a haven for migratory shorebirds who feed in tidal marshes and rest on the beach in the spring and fall. Watch herons and egrets search for food or witness osprey plunging into tidal creeks to capture fish. Bottlenose dolphins swim offshore, while white-tailed deer, raccoons, and gray fox inhabit inland areas.