Latest News from Pine Knoll Shores

Success is sweet for NC Aquarium Cakes for Conservation winners

News Article From: Pine Knoll Shores on Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

nca-pks Cakes for conservation winners, amateur w Bees,  ladybugs, bunnies and other critters captured the Backyard Buddies theme for the North Carolina Aquarium’s Cakes for Conservation contest Tuesday. A total of 45 creative confections competed for prizes in the annual event nca-pks professional winner sara Kroshus lrhosted in honor of Earth Day. Students in a culinary class at Northside High School in Jacksonville crafted most of the confections, and won all the prizes.

In the junior amateur division, Nathalie Maranon took first place with a cake topped by a confederation of bees, butterflies, ladybugs, a bluebird, worms and a caterpillar. Second place went to Brianna Daley for her colorful coral snake coiled in the grass. Deaja Tucker put together cupcakes and cookie wafers to create a clever owl. Hunter Halford won an honorable mention for a sweet bunny with a basket of eggs.

Sara Kroshus, also a Northside student, competed in and won the professional category for her cake themed Down by the Lake. It depicted a frog lounging on a lily pad, with ladybugs and butterflies on a tree stump.

Displays on how to make small changes that make a big difference for the environment are featured through Saturday at the Aquarium in honor of Earth Day.

 

 

NC Aquarium hosts blood drive April 27

News Article From: Pine Knoll Shores on Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

redcross-logoThe local chapter of the American Red Cross will conduct a blood drive this Sunday, April 27, at the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores. The drive will be in Soundside Hall, near the River Otter exhibit, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Walk-in donors are welcome, but if you want to schedule an appointment, visit redcrossblood.org and enter the zip code 28512 to bring up the appointments page.

See Winging It: Birds in Flight starting Memorial Day weekend

News Article From: Pine Knoll Shores on Saturday, April 19th, 2014

Wise up about owls and other birds!

Bring the flock for family fun with Winging It – Birds in Flight, making its 2014 premiere Memorial Day weekend.

This ticketed program stars native raptors and water birds, some of which soar overhead in Big Rock Theater in response to commands. The show highlights the unique features of various owls, hawks, pelicans, vultures and other species. The audience enjoys extraordinary close encounters with these engaging creatures.

The 2014 program uses the fun premise of a field trip with a wildlife biologist and an absent-minded intern to illuminate environmental issues that trouble these species, and solutions that can be incorporated into everyday life. All the birds in the show have injuries or conditions that prevent their release into the wild. Like all the Aquarium’s activities, the birds also deliver family-friendly entertainment.

Winging It – Birds in Flight runs daily at 1 p.m. in Big Rock Theater. Tickets are $4 in addition to admission for ages 3 and up. Purchase tickets at admissions. There is no charge for “infants-in-arms” ages 2 and under.

 

Aquarium touch tanks at Crystal Coast Earth Day festivities

News Article From: Pine Knoll Shores on Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

w-outreachThe North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores offers a personal touch to make the conservation connection at the annual Crystal Coast Earth Day Festival this Saturday. The Aquarium’s traveling touch tanks put live animals such as sea stars, hermit crabs, urchins, whelks and other creatures at your fingertips during the event, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Fort Macon State Park visitor center. Also enjoy live music by Gumbo Lily and fun, hands-on activities for children. More than 20 organizations annually join together for the observance, which is free.

The Aquarium continues its celebration with a week-long Party for the Planet through April 26, emphasizing green places and spaces. Look for helpful displays among the exhibits on how to apply simple but effective changes in your own home and backyard.

The annual Cakes for Conservation competition April 22 is a sweet way to underscore the week’s theme. Bakers ages 5 and up express their philosophies in frosting and compete for cash prizes with confections that depict “Backyard Buddies” – amphibians, birds, snakes, turtles, insects and plants. There is no entry fee. Judges will be looking for creativity, taste, portrayal of the theme and use of local, organic and sustainable ingredients. And the best part – Aquarium visitors can taste the entries after the 3:30 p.m. judging. Read more here.

The Aquarium Party for the Planet activities are free with admission or membership.

 

Spaces available in summer day camps

News Article From: Pine Knoll Shores on Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

Campers enjoy outdoor adventures, behind-the-scenes action and hands-on activities at the Aquarium’s summer day camps. Register now – camps are booking fast. Registrations are accepted online only.

All camps run from 8:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. The fee is $270 per camper – members pay $243. Payment is due upon registration.

This summer brings a new camp just for the small fry – Sea Squirts for kids entering kindergarten and first grade. Students entering grades 2-8 can choose from three sessions throughout the summer.  Here’s the full line-up by age group:w (8-10-2012)NCA-PKS-SummerCampTShirts

NEW! Sea Squirts (Rising K-1st graders)
Session I – Aug. 18-22
Register now!

Aquatic Adventurers (Rising 2nd and 3rd graders)
Session I- June 30 -July 4
Session II- July 21-25
Session III- Aug. 11-15
Register now!

Coastal Explorers (Rising 4th and 5th graders)
Session I- June 23-27
Session II- July 14-18
Session III- Aug. 4-8
Register now!

Sea Scholars (Rising 6th -8th grades)
Session I- June 16-20
Session II- July 7-11
Session III- July 28-Aug. 1
Register now!

 

 

 

 

Aquarium admission changes effective March 1

News Article From: Pine Knoll Shores on Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

Admission fees at the three North Carolina Aquariums will increase by a little less than $3 starting March 1.  Jennette’s Pier at Nags Head, also under the Aquariums Division, will institute a walk-on fee of $2 for sightseers; $1 for ages 12 and under.  The fee increases are part of an effort to offset shrinking state funding for the state aquarium facilities.

“These increases will allow the aquariums and Jennette’s Pier to continue to fulfill our mission of conservation education, and meet our commitment of providing visitors with top-quality experiences,” said David Griffin, director of the Aquariums Division. “That includes everything from new animals, exhibits and activities to building maintenance.”

The aquariums last increased admission fees eight years ago. Since then, state support has dropped by 30 percent.

Aquarium fees for each age category increase by $2.95, bringing the adult charge to $10.95; ages 62 and up to $9.95 and children, ages 3-12, to $8.95. The new fee structure also includes a military rate of $9.95. Children ages 2 and under and members of the North Carolina Aquarium Society will continue to enjoy free admission.

“Even with the increases, admission fees at the aquariums are some of the lowest among aquariums across the country,” Griffin added. “The aquariums are great values for family outings.”

 

NC Aquarium salutes volunteers

News Article From: Pine Knoll Shores on Monday, January 27th, 2014
(01-23-2014) Chris Carlin, standing, Gervase Motes, left, and Brian Balthorp

Gervase Motes, left, Volunteer Coordinator Chris Carlin, Brian Balthrop

Last year, 272 volunteers gave more than 20, 500 hours of service to the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores. The Aquarium honored them for their dedication and their valuable contributions at a Jan. 23 awards ceremony. Volunteers daily provide visitors with assistance at the information desk, as exhibit interpreters, at the two touch pools and during events. Volunteer divers assist with dive programs and exhibit maintenance.

A few members of the force were singled out for special awards. Congratulations to the 2013 Volunteer of the Year, Gervase Motes of Newport, cited for serving extended stints as the costumed shark mascot, Friendly Finley, and filling a variety of other volunteer roles Brian Balthrop of Newport earned the Order of the Spadefish Award for Excellence in Customer Service for his work four times weekly at the Information Desk.

Barbara Neptune and Nancy Aitken of Morehead City and Karen Naftzger of Emerald isle were recognized with Above and Beyond Awards for going beyond the call of duty.

(01-23-2014) Jason Johnson, Ethan Simmons, Hubert Bowen

Jason Johnson, Dive Safety Officer Ethan Simmons, Hubert Bowen

Distinguished Volunteer Service awards went to Barbara Yankauskas and Jim Yankauskas of Pine Knoll Shores, Maggie Rauschenberg of Swansboro, Jeff Brown of New Bern, Tom Ruddiman of Cape Carteret, Sharon Lewis of Emerald Isle and Kaye Jones of Fredericksburg, VA.

Hubert Bowen was chosen as the 2013 Volunteer Diver of the Year and Jason Johnson as Volunteer Rookie Diver of the Year. The Wednesday A Team took the honors for Diver Team of the Year. Members include team leader Allan Lloyd and Warren Lloyd, Amanda Lloyd and Tom McNamara. See more photos.

Aquarium employees honored

News Article From: Pine Knoll Shores on Sunday, January 19th, 2014

w NCA-PKS Cathy Piner, Tia ReignerThe North Carolina Aquarium Society recently honored two employees at the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores for outstanding performance. The two were selected from nominations by their fellow Aquarium employees.

Business Manager Cathy Piner was recognized with the 2013 Award of Excellence. She has worked for the Aquarium for 29 years. The nominations cited her experience, integrity, enthusiasm, sense of fun and dedication. They also described her as a hard worker, a team player and someone who encourages others.

Tia Reigner was chosen for the 2013 Customer Service Award.  A cashier in the Visitor Services department, she has worked for the Aquarium since it reopened after remodeling in 2006. Nominations praised her for continually going above and beyond to make the Aquarium a better place to work and visit, being always willing to help and giving 110 percent to her job every day.

The membership-based North Carolina Aquarium Society supports programs and activities at the three North Carolina Aquariums – at Pine Knoll Shores, at Fort Fisher and on Roanoke Island.

 

NC Aquarium volunteer diver program accepting applications

News Article From: Pine Knoll Shores on Saturday, January 18th, 2014

small-diver4The volunteer diver program at the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores currently is accepting applications for weekday teams only. Please see the Aquarium’s volunteer page for more on volunteer diver responsibilities and requirements. If you are interested in joining the team, or have any questions, please contact Dive Safety Officer Ethan Simmons at ethan.simmons@ncaquariums.com to request an application.

More cold-stunned turtles return to sea

News Article From: Pine Knoll Shores,Uncategorized on Wednesday, December 18th, 2013
Loggerhead release 12-13-13 photo courtesy Avery Paxton

Photo courtesy Avery Paxton, UNC-IMS

Eighteen green sea turtles that had recovered from a bad chill are home in time for the holidays. They and a loggerhead hitched a ride to warmer offshore waters with researchers from the University of North Carolina Institute of Marine Sciences (UNC-IMS) last Friday.

The young green sea turtles were brought to the Aquarium after the Thanksgiving cold snap. Sea turtles are cold-blooded and can’t tolerate winter weather. Most usually head to the warmer Gulf Stream waters or migrate south when the seasons change. Those that still in the area when water temperatures drop can suffer a potentially fatal condition called cold-stunning, similar to hypothermia in humans. Their heart rates and other functions slow, making them too lethargic to swim. They can die from prolonged exposure.

The loggerhead yearling had spent several months at Monterey Bay Aquarium in California. It couldn’t make it to the ocean on its own after hatching in the fall of 2012 on a North Carolina Beach, and was brought to the Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores for care. The Aquarium helps several facilities around the country with sea turtle education programs by providing hatchlings for a limited time. The turtles are released when they are a year or so old.

The Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores is among facilities that work with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) to provide care for cold-stunned turtles and weak hatchlings. NCWRC coordinates sea turtle rescues, rehabilitation and releases and monitors nesting and hatching activity in the state.

The turtles got a lift with a UNC-IMS dive team departing from Wilmington to survey offshore reefs. The effort also included people from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, which provided the boat, and NOAA.

The Aquarium already has cared for and released 15 cold-stunned turtles this fall. Several more are recovering in behind-the-scenes holding areas.