By Dee Langston on August 8, 2016The North Carolina Coastal Federation is moving its Manteo office to Wanchese, where it will have more space for staff and programs and be closer to the commercial fishermen and boat builders it serves.
The new office, in Wanchese Marine Industrial Park, will be up and running Aug. 15.
“We’re excited about the opportunities that this new space provides,” said Erin Fleckenstein, the federation’s regional manager.
“In addition to providing adequate office space for our growing staff, we’re thrilled to be moving to the Marine Industrial Park where we’ll be better connected to the needs of the watermen, boat builders and others who most directly rely on clean water and a healthy coast,” she added.
Established in 1982, the federation opened its northeast office in Manteo in 2003, with one staff member; in 2008 it expanded to three.
The move to Wanchese will give the federation space for five staffers, along with Americorps members and seasonal interns. The new office features an indoor classroom for students and meetings and an outdoor space for restoration and education activities, along with onsite displays on water quality and coastal habitat.
Since its inception, the federation’s restoration program has built nearly 3,000 linear feet of living shoreline at various sites, including Jockey’s Ridge State Park, and Ocracoke and Hatteras islands.
More than 1,800 acres of wetlands have been restored in Hyde County to improve coastal water quality and water management options for local farmers.
And more than 50 acres of oyster reefs have been built in the Pamlico Sound with state, federal and private partners, including commercial fishermen.
The northeast office also employs commercial fishermen during the winter months to remove lost fishing gear — namely, crab pots — from local waters. This program has employed 60 commercial fishermen over the years and removed more than 2,100 lost crab pots from a small pilot area in northeastern North Carolina. The project will continue in 2017 with state funding and will expand to hire fishermen statewide.
The federation’s mission is to ensure the coast remains healthy and thriving — for both the natural world and coastal communities and economies — through restoration, education and advocacy. In 2015 alone, the Manteo office educated more than 3,000 local students and adults, organized 40 volunteer events and worked with more than 200 community volunteers.
The official opening and ribbon cutting for the federation’s Wanchese office is scheduled for Sept. 8, from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. To make a monetary donation to the federation and its new Wanchese office, or to sponsor office necessities, such as chairs, desks or shelves, visit NCCoast/New Office to learn more.