Wings Over Water Wildlife Festival returns Oct. 18-23

By on September 24, 2022

Wings over Water (Photo credit: Stewart-USFWS)

Wings Over Water Wildlife Festival Celebrates 25th Anniversary

Coastal Wildlife Refuge Society

Registration is open for the 2022 Wings Over Water Wildlife Festival. After a two year shutdown due to the pandemic, the festival, which consists of dozens of birding, paddling, photography, art & natural history programs, is ready to host both new and repeat attendees. The Festival runs from Tuesday October 18 through Sunday October 23. And then in December there is an all birding session, WOW Encore. It takes place Friday December 9 through Sunday December 11.

Go to the Wings Over Water Wildlife Festival website to see a listing of all the festival programs and more details. For questions call 252-216-9464.

To register visit Wings Over Water Wildlife Festival Registration.

In 1997 Wings Over Water Wildlife Festival was begun under the direction of then refuge manager, Mike Bryant, as a way to encourage and offer the public wildlife and wild land interpretation, educational opportunities and experiences on regional national wildlife refuges. This annual national wildlife refuge fundraising event has grown from a few offered activities in 1997, to over 90 birding, paddling, photography, art & natural history programs.

The festival takes place in 6 national wildlife refuges over 6 northeast North Carolina counties. It is one of the premier east coast wildlife festivals. Locally, many activities take place on National Park Service property, specifically Cape Hatteras National Seashore, one of the Festival partners. What keeps Wings Over Water going year-after-year with a high registrant return rate? Great, knowledgeable activity leaders along with a small ratio of participants-to-leader (so you don’t get lost in the crowd) and of course wonderful wildlife opportunities.  Every festival leader is a professional in their own field, volunteering their time, travel and expertise. Wings Over Water leaders come from a wide range of professions & fields such as professors, top birders, well-respected botanists and biologist, authors and award-winning photographers and artists.

2022 Wings Over Water Keynote Speaker- Pete Benjamin

Pete Benjamin is the Supervisor of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Field Office in Raleigh North Carolina.  Pete has worked for the Fish and Wildlife Service since 1991 and has been the Field Supervisor in Raleigh since 2004.  The Raleigh Office delivers Fish and Wildlife Service programs throughout central and eastern North Carolina with a staff of about 20.  Pete managed the Red Wolf Non-Essential Experimental Population from 2013 until 2022. Keynote Talk: ​​ The American Red Wolf: Past, Present and Future. The red wolf is a fascinating species. At the brink of extinction, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service was tasked with managing the red wolf recovery program. The goal was and is to help foster a long-term, free-ranging, self-sustaining red wolf population. Pete knows the inside and outside details of the red wolf journey. Don’t miss out on this fascinating keynote talk about one of the world’s most endangered species.

Wings Over Water is an annual refuge fundraising event sponsored by Coastal Wildlife Refuge Society (CWRS).

CWRS is a non-profit group which exists to support regional national wildlife refuges. WOW, besides providing funds for educational grants to schools, is a part of many CWRS refuge support projects such as maintaining trails and signs and other refuge structures. Also, WOW helps CWRS provide volunteers and staff who are essential to the maintenance and operation of the regional national wildlife refuges visitor centers and refuges.





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