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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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