Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Coastal Federation: Steadfast Stewards of our Waterways



Ask local residents what makes our region an unbeatable place to live, and one word is guaranteed to come up every time:  water. Our stunning coastal waters, and the plants and wildlife that inhabit them make the Cape Fear region an unparalleled place to call home.

Since 1982, The NC Coastal Federation has been working to protect our waterways and the critically important natural habitats of the North Carolina coast. The Federation accomplishes their mission with a three-pronged approach:  advocating for responsible land and water use, educating citizens to become informed partners in protecting our coastal resources, and restoring and preserving our waters and habitat for the enjoyment of all who work and play here.

In Wrightsville Beach, the Federation uses a handy tool to help this mission along:  FUN!   A visit to the Fred and Alice Stanback Coastal Education Center on W. Salisbury Street is a fascinating way to spend an afternoon with the family. Here are just a few of the entertaining (and educational) events the Coastal Federation offers throughout the summer:

Touch Tank Tuesdays:  Get an up close and personal experience with some of the amazing critters that live in the waters around Wrightsville Beach.  Each Tuesday from 10am - 1pm, visitors are invited to see and touch creatures like shrimp, crabs and whelk.  The animals are carefully collected and released back to their homes each day.  This is a free event.

Coastal Birding Cruises:  The Coastal Federation teams up with Wrightsville Beach Scenic Tours on the first Friday of each month for this one-hour wildlife and birding tour around Wrightsville Beach.  On this relaxing cruise, you'll learn about the area's unique ecology and see a wide variety of shorebirds. Registration is required.

Coastal Discovery Thursdays:  Recommended for all ages, this event uses hands-on activities to learn about a wide variety of topics like the region's estuaries, how our stormwater is handled, and even the anatomy of an oyster!  This free event is held each Thursday from 1pm - 3pm at the Education Center.

There are lots of ways you can get involved in the mission of the NC Coastal Federation.  Volunteer opportunities include helping in the field with wetlands and oyster restoration, assisting with outreach events, and lending a hand with publications.  Learn more at www.nccoast.org.

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