Our Vision Resonates Across North Carolina

Our Education Vision addresses the critical need for environmental solutions that inspire youth and adults across the state – virtually and in person.

The Communications Studio will allow us to engage more students, engineers, marine contractors, developers, and decision-makers through high-quality videos, webinars, and workshops.

The CRO Newsroom will support continued growth for CoastalReview.org (reaching over 750,000 readers in 2021)! 

The Federation is exploring new and expanded partnerships, including with the Boys and Girls Clubs, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and Duke University through the new Coastal Leadership Institute.

Major Accomplishments

  • The 77-acre property was secured in partnership with Carteret County in March of 2020.
  • Final plans for the Center were completed in 2022, including trails, education features, an event center, and more
  • A Living Shoreline protecting waterfront wetlands and live oak trees in front of the future Center, trails, County Park, and the boat ramp was installed in 2021.
  • The Chris B. Smith Nature Trails, winding through three different coastal habitats, were built on federation and County properties in 2021.
  • Over $6 million raised through a capital campaign (as of 5/15/22).

View our Final Designs

By Bowman, Murry, Hemingway Architects

Coming Soon at the Center


Federation director Todd Miller (left) works with architect Chip Hemingway on the final design of the Center.

  • Final touches on the two-mile Chris B. Smith Nature Trail will be completed in early 2022, along with small trailhead access and trail maps and signs.
  • Final designs for the Center are complete! The federation will assemble our construction team throughout 2022 in anticipation of breaking ground in 2023.
  • Final designs of the main entry road from Highway 24 and the boat ramp are underway under the leadership of Carteret County. Stay tuned for more updates and ground-breaking announcements later this year!
  • Plans for Comprehensive Native Landscaping are underway to guide our portfolio of work and long-term plans for native plant conservation, stormwater management, and habitat transition. Selective thinning of weak and storm-damaged trees will give native pine and hardwood trees room to grow. The Coastal Federation will supplement existing trees with native, storm-resilient species such as live oak trees and longleaf pines.

Thank you to all our supporters and volunteers, including teams from Conservation Corps NC, local businesses, and scouts, for their help bringing the Center to life!

Sign up to help with future volunteer opportunities here!

Visitors explore the site on a gorgeous summer day.
Students from ECU help establish the nature trails and trim vegetation at the Center.
Visitors explore the site on a gorgeous summer day.
Volunteers from Conservation Corps NC help build the nature trails at the new Center.
Two miles of nature trail will lead visitors from views of the sound through stands of live oak and pine trees, and even around wetland ponds like the ones shown here.
An old road provides temporary access to the site.
A section of the new trail.
Two miles of nature trail will lead visitors from views of the sound through stands of live oak and pine trees, and even around wetland ponds like the ones shown here.
View of the completed oyster sill with healthy wetland grasses flourishing behind it.
: Volunteers plant wetland plants behind the oyster reef sill as part of the living shoreline that will reduce erosion, provide habitat, and improve water quality.
Local volunteers plant wetland plants as part of the living shoreline at the Center.
Newly planted Spartina alterniflora sprigs will mature into a healthy, productive wetland.
Students from ECU enjoy helping install the living shoreline at the Center. Photo by Lauren Howard.
Sunrise at the future Center for Coastal Protection and Restoration.

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