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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Celebrate National Estuaries Day in Beaufort

Photo by Ann Marie Lokey
By definition, an estuary is a partly enclosed coastal body of water in which river water meets sea water. This confluence results in tidal flows that contain an ever-changing mixture of fresh water and salt water. An estuary is thus defined by salinity more so than geography. 

Estuaries offer a unique, vibrant, diverse, and intricate ecosystem that needs to be protected and preserved. That ecosystem includes the habitats and wildlife associated with it.

Are you curious about our estuaries on the Crystal Coast? Well if you are, this is the perfect weekend to pique your curiosity as well as learn more about one of our local estuaries here in Beaufort. Take it a step further and become involved in its protection and preservation. (Read on to find out how to do that!)

On Friday, September 28 and Saturday, September 29 the North Carolina Coastal Reserve along with the National Estuarine Research Reserve coordinate with the North Carolina Maritime Museum (wow, that is a mouthful; is it not?) to celebrate National Estuaries Day and National Public Lands Day in Beaufort. This event centers around one of our local estuarine areas, the Rachel Carson Reserve. The activities for this celebration are free, but most require advance reservations.

Here are the free events scheduled for National Estuaries Day on the Crystal Coast:

Birding trip to the Rachel Carson Reserve on Friday, September 28 from 1-3p.m. Take the opportunity to enjoy this free bird-watching trip to the Rachel Carson Reserve led by a seasoned birder. Be ready to explore estuarine habitats and to observe various types of birds on this adventure. Boat transportation is provided to the Rachel Carson Reserve. Reservations are required for this trip. Call 252.838.0886 for further information or to make a reservation.

Photo by Sun-Surf Realty
Coastal clean-up at the Rachel Carson Reserve on Saturday, September 29 from 10a.m.-1p.m. This is the part where you can get involved and take action toward the protection and preservation of our estuaries. By participating in this free event, you help protect the estuary including its wildlife and habitats, and assist in a marine debris clean-up at Town Marsh. All supplies for the clean-up are provided; all you need to bring is a bagged lunch to enjoy afterwards. Boat transportation to the Rachel Carson Reserve is provided. Reservations are required for this event. Call 252.838.0886 for additional information or to make a reservation.

Celebration at the North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort on Saturday, September 29 from 10a.m.-2p.m. Enjoy outdoor interactive educational displays and indoor showings of a film honoring the 50th anniversary of Rachel Carson's book Silent Spring. Contact the NC Maritime Museum in Beaufort for additional information on this event.

Photo by Karen Cheek-Anspach
We hope you take the time to come visit us this weekend and check out some of these events. Remember, Beaufort is only a short scenic coastal drive away from Emerald Isle and makes for a nice day trip.  

Stay on the beach and leave enough time to play in our coastal towns. Beaufort is wonderful any time of year, but fall is especially beautiful on the waterfront and along the tree-lined streets of this historic maritime town.

We look forward to seeing you here on the coast of North Carolina during the fall season. Remember, we are always in an endless summer state-of-mind.

Have you had time to explore any of our local estuarine waters? What did you see? Tell us about it in our comment section. We love hearing about your time spent here with us on the Crystal Coast. Happy National Estuaries Day!

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Autumn Kicks Off Surf Fishing Season, Driving on the Beach, Fishing Tournaments & More on the Crystal Coast

Photo by Chad Winstead
It's a beautiful time of the year here on the coast of North Carolina. Though we always wish that summer would linger just a bit longer, we also welcome autumn with open arms. It's hard to believe that September is more than half over already. 

Where does the time go? 

As summer fades and autumn arrives on our doorstep, we want to give you some things to be excited about for this fall season (in addition to the moderate temperatures, low humidity, dynamic colors, and the lovely uncrowded beaches).

Here are some noteworthy items:

Driving on the Emerald Isle Beaches Allowed from September 15 - April 30 with Permit
From September 15 through April 30 (with the exception of March 29 - April 8) beach driving is allowed with a permit. Beach driving is permitted from 5a.m. until 9p.m. daily from September 15 to November 6 and from March 13 to April 30 (to coincide with Daylight Savings Time). Daily driving hours are 5a.m. to 7p.m. from November 7 to March 12 (to coincide with Eastern Standard Time). 

Photo by Chad Winstead
Authorized beach access ramps are located on Ocean Drive near mile marker 15 on Hwy NC 58, at the end of Black Skimmer Drive across from Town Hall, and at The Point on Inlet Drive at Bogue Inlet. The Doe Drive ramp is closed to the general public. 

Please also be aware that the town of Emerald Isle expects to construct a beach nourishment project this winter which may result in the temporary closing of certain beach areas during construction. Construction dates are subject to change but are currently scheduled to occur between January 1 and March 31 of 2013. Planned construction areas (also subject to change) include the area between 5th Street and Pier Pointe (not open to beach driving anyway) and between Myrtle Drive and Ocean Oaks Drive.

Beach driving is allowed only with an official Town of Emerald Isle beach driving permit which may be purchased in person at the Town Administration Building located at 7509 Emerald Drive during normal business hours (8a.m. to 5p.m. Monday through Friday) and through other remote methods. Applicants must include a copy of vehicle registration and drivers license for processing. 

Annual beach driving permit fees are $40 for Emerald Isle residents and taxpayers under age 65, and free for all Emerald Isle residents and taxpayers age 65 and older. The fee for all non-Emerald Isle residents and taxpayers of any age is $80. Handicapped persons of any age, whether an Emerald Isle resident/taxpayer or not, are eligible for a free permit.

It's best to visit the Town of Emerald Isle's website for complete application instructions and forms. For questions or additional information, applicants can call 252.354.3424. 

6th Annual Flounder Surf Fishing Tournament Runs from September 22 - October 6
Photo by Sun-Surf Realty
Free registration for this tournament continues through September 21 (so hurry!) and excellent prizes are offered. The rules are simple: All flounder must be caught by fishing on foot (surf, pier, inlet, sound) from Fort Macon to Emerald Isle. 

This tournament is sponsored by Emerald Isle Parks and Recreation and The Reel Outdoors. Interested participants can view the tournament rules and regulations as well as print the registration form from the Town of Emerald Isle's event web page.

Free Surf Fishing Seminar October 1
Photo by Hal Bryson
Speaking of surf fishing, mark your calendars and save the date for a free seminar offered by one of the area's most renowned experts, Dr. Bogus. Learn about speckled trout surf fishing during this presentation at the Emerald Isle Parks and Recreation Department Community Center. Interested participants can call 252.354.6350 for further details.

This seminar is hosted in conjunction with the Gordie McAdams Speckled Trout Surf Fishing Tournament which offers free registration from September 21 through October 19. For more information on that tournament, read on.

10th Annual Gordie McAdams Speckled Trout Surf Fishing Tournament October 20 - December 1
Photo by Sun-Surf Realty
This is another fun surf fishing tournament offering free registration and excellent prizes! Use the expertise gained from the speckled trout surf fishing seminar and apply it to your advantage. The rules are again simple: All trout must be caught by fishing on foot (surf, pier, inlet, sound) from Fort Macon to Emerald Isle. This event is sponsored by Emerald Isle Parks and Recreation and The Reel Outdoors. 

Interested participants can view the tournament rules and regulations as well as print the registration form from the Town of Emerald Isle's event web page.

Photo by Becky Overholser Wiegman
We hope you're excited and ready for all of the fall fun and adventure offered here on the Crystal Coast. We know we are! Don't forget to leave room in your fall vacation planning for some time spent relaxing on our beaches and absorbing our laid-back lifestyle. Take advantage of our vacation rental specials and discounts this time of year, too.

Happy Autumn! We look forward to seeing you enjoy our beaches, attending our local events, and relishing all this coastal area has to offer.

Have you vacationed with us during the fall season? If it's your favorite time of year to vacation here, please tell us about in our comment section. We'd love to hear about it!

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

FREE Family Fun in Emerald Isle at the 7th Annual Day4Kids

Attention kids of all ages and the young-at-heart: Don't miss out on this weekend's 7th Annual Day4Kids on Saturday, September 15 from 10a.m. to 2p.m. at the Emerald Isle Parks and Recreation Center located at 7500 Emerald Drive in Emerald Isle. 

It's a day chock full of family fun centered around spending meaningful quality time with one of our most valuable resources and investments in our futureour kids. Don't worry about the weather; the event goes on rain or shine. Come right at 10a.m. to take full advantage of all the free giveaways. They will disappear fast!

Here's the breakdown of all the Day4Kids family fun:

Visit with Ronald McDonald (11am-1pm)
Dexter “Loveboat” Williams (main tent at noon)
Joy Untold’s Isabel the Clown 
DJ Mack

Games and Activities
Free T-shirts for the First 100 Kids
Free Refreshments While Supplies Last
Inflatable Rides–FREE
Midway Games–FREE
Games with Mary Kay
Obstacle Courses
Raffle Prizes
NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores Touch Tank 
Friends of the Library Paperback Exchange 
(Please bring a book to trade; No child denied a book)

Community Organizations On-Hand
Coast Guard
Carteret County Health Department
Carteret County Beekeepers Association
NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores
Emerald Isle Fire Department
Emerald Isle Police Department
State Employees Credit Union 
NC State Highway Patrol
Outer Banks Wildlife Shelter
Core Sound Decoy Carvers Guild

 Safety Education
“Keeping Kids Safe,” Dr. Joyce Trafton
Community Prevention Services 
Child IdentiKits, EI Police Dept. 
Fire Safety House

Photo by Sun-Surf Realty
Whether you're vacationing with us on our beaches or you're lucky enough to live here in Emerald Isle, we hope to see you there. Questions about the event? Feel free to contact the Emerald Isle Parks and Recreation Department.

Are you a resident or visitor who has been to the Day4Kids in the past? Tell us about it in our comment section. Let us know what you think!

One final thought. The fall season is quickly approaching as cooler temperatures and lower humidity are settling in. Here in Emerald Isle, we are enjoying an endless summer. It's not too late to join us. Think about it!

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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

North Carolina's Crystal Coast Is A Popular Wedding Destination: Here's Why!

Photo by Melissa Clark James
As readers of this blog know, we are in love with our beaches and coastal beauty here in Emerald Isle and the surrounding Crystal Coast area—we also love to share it with others. As part of the Southern Outer Banks, visitors and vacationers delight in the crystalline blue-green waters, unspoiled beaches, and laid-back coastal atmosphere of this beach paradise.

Speaking of love, the Crystal Coast continues to be a popular wedding destination for all of the above reasons and more. If you are getting married or know someone who is, think about some of the wedding possibilities that await you here.

Photo by Tina Brookbank
Have you ever considered getting married right on the beach and having your wedding reception in a majestic oceanfront beach house? Have you ever pondered getting married in a palace (yes, we said palace)? Perhaps you're adventurous and would consider a unique wedding setting where you could propose in front of the sea life? If you're seeking a more traditional setting such as a country club or a civic center, we offer those, too.

The Crystal Coast has a host of wedding professionals available to assist you in the planning, organizing, and perfecting of each and every detail of  this memorable event in your life. January and February are great planning months because there are several bridal fairs, shows, and expos happening here. They are a fantastic resource.

If you are looking specifically at Emerald Isle as a wedding destination, the staff of Sun-Surf Realty is happy to help, as well. They know and love the area, so don't hesitate to contact them.

Fall and spring are wonderful wedding seasons here on the coast as the temperatures are pleasant, the crowds are lessened, and the scenery is vibrant. They are our two most popular times of the year for weddings. It's so beautiful here, you may want to plan to stay for your honeymoon, too! (But that's a blog topic for another day...) Come and visit us during these seasons, and you'll see why.

Photo by Mary Francis Phillips-Crain
We hope we have given you some great ideas on wedding planning. We also hope we've given you some ideas for other special events that you may be planning. We'd love to celebrate each and every one of them with you here. We hope to see you soon. Happy planning!

Did you get married on the Crystal Coast? Have you attended a wedding on the Crystal Coast? Tell us about it!

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