Jones Island: Oyster and Marsh Habitat Restoration Continues
Work will continue this spring and summer to restore the marshes and oyster reefs of Jones Island in the White Oak River near Swansboro. The island, part of Hammocks Beach State Park, is home to the Jones Island Environmental Education and Restoration Center, a place where the community learns about coastal environments and stewardship through hands-on restoration activities.
The federation and the park will be leading and organizing many different types of activities for all ages on the island this year. Habitat Restoration workdays will be every Tuesday from June 12 through August 14. Volunteers will create fill mesh bags with oyster shells that will be used to create oyster reefs. They'll also monitor newly created marshes and oyster reefs and help with island clean-ups and maintenance.
From May 4 through August 10, federation educators and park rangers will offer a series of nine marsh cruises that will explore the fascinating local estuary. From June 6 through August 9, federation educators will be conducting ecology programs for park visitors on Bear Island and at the park's Visitor Center.
Four Jones Island summer day camps are also planned for children in June and July: three day-long camps for rising third-fifth graders and one day-long camp for rising sixth and seventh graders.
Please see our Events Calendar for more information on all of these events.
Student Wetland Nurseries: Learning by Doing
Middle and high schools in Carteret, Onslow and Pamlico counties have been partnering with the federation since 2003 to help restore estuarine shorelines. Healthy and vegetated wetlands protect coastal water quality by absorbing rainfall, recharging groundwater, and filtering pollutants out of runoff; they also hold back floodwaters, reduce storm surges, and lesson erosion. Originally implemented by Florida’s Tampa Bay Watch, the Student Wetland Nursery Program was adapted by the federation for North Carolina’s climate and standard course of study. Participants in this program visit and learn about a healthy wetland environment through hands-on activities, build a wetland nursery on school property,cultivate wetland plants from seed and take care of plants and travel to a site and use their plants to restore a coastal shoreline in their community
Oyster Education Program Reaches Into Four Counties
Middle and high schools and colleges in Carteret, Craven, Jones and Onslow counties have been partnering with the federation since 2004 to help further oyster restoration in coastal North Carolina. Native to our waters, the eastern oyster can filter up to 50 gallons of water a day and the reefs they build provide critical habitat for a diverse collection of aquatic animals. A healthy oyster reef can be home to over 300 species.
Our Oyster Education Program gives students hands-on field work and allows them to learn about the history of oysters and current issues the oyster is facing. Students also get up close and personal with the eastern oyster, dissecting and studying the internal and external anatomy. Participants in this program can help:
- Collect water quality data that affects oyster populations
- Monitor fedreration-created oyster reefs
- Bag recycled oyster shell
- Transfer oyster bags into estuaries in the summer
LID in Schools
- Annunciation Catholic School, Craven County; rain gardens created in 2009
- Arthur W. Edwards Elementary School, Craven County; rain gardens created in 2009
- Chocowinity Middle School, Beaufort County; rain garden created in 2008
- Queens Creek Elementary School, Craven County; rain gardens created in 2010
- Smyrna Elementary School, Carteret County; rain garden created in 2008
- Swansboro Elementary School, Carteret County; rain garden created in 2010
- Tiller School, Carteret County; rain gardens created in 2011
- White Oak Elementary School, Carteret County; rain gardens created in 2009