WANCHESE, N.C. (WNCT) – The North Carolina Coastal Federation’s Manteo office is relocating to Wanchese in Dare County.
Beginning Aug. 15, the federation’s northeast office staff will be fully operational in the Wanchese Marine Industrial Park.
The new office in Wanchese will allow the federation to expand its growing programs in northeastern North Carolina. Its features include an indoor classroom for students and meetings, an outdoor space for restoration and education activities and onsite displays on water quality and coastal habitat.
“We’re excited about the opportunities that this new space provides. 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,” said Erin Fleckenstein, regional manager.
The federation has worked since 1982 to ensure the coast remains healthy and thriving — for both the natural world and coastal communities and economies. The federation’s northeast office first opened in Manteo in 2003 with one staff member; in 2008 it expanded to three. From the Wanchese office five staff members, as well as Americorps members and seasonal interns, will work to carry out the federation’s programs.
The federation has greatly expanded its work in the northeast through its robust restoration, education and advocacy efforts over the years. In 2015 alone, the Manteo office educated more than 3,000 local students and adults, organized 40 volunteer events and worked with over 200 community volunteers.
The federation’s restoration program has built nearly 3,000 linear feet of living shoreline at various sites, including Jockey’s Ridge, Ocracoke and Hatteras. Over 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 continues to employ 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. This project will continue in 2017 with state funding and will expand to hire fishermen statewide.
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. More details on that event will be forthcoming.
The federation is also offering an opportunity to support the growth of the northeast’s work and its new Wanchese office. Those who are interested can make a monetary donation or can sponsor office necessities — such as chairs, desks or shelves — at the federation’s office registry.