Latest News from Roanoke Island

National Volunteer Week

News Article From: Roanoke Island on Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

Volunteers are a valuable resource at the NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island. Some 176 friends volunteered in 2014, providing visitors and the Aquarium 9,998 hours of service. Volunteers serve as marine educators at the touch tanks, during dive presentations, with sea turtles in our STAR Center, on the road in Outreach programs and at Discovery Carts on the Aquarium floor. They are skilled divers, helping clean and maintain our 285,000-gallon Graveyard of the Atlantic exhibit, as well as educating the public during dive shows. They also work behind the scenes doing administrative work, special projects, horticulture and groundskeeping tasks. We also have a vibrant, unpaid internship program as well. In 2014, our interns donated more than 1000 hours of free service in three departments, and the unpaid internship program just keeps growing!

If you are interested in volunteering at the Aquarium, contact Shannon Brooks at or call (252) 475-2335.

Steve Brown, Volunteer Diver

Steve Brown, Volunteer Diver

Joyce Shiels Volunteer

Joyce Shiels, Volunteer

Cathy Lesiewicz Volunteer

Cathy Lesiewicz, Volunteer

Niki Taylor Volunteer

Niki Taylor, Volunteer

Fred Bamonte Volunteer

Fred Bamonte, Volunteer

Clem Webb Volunteer

Clem Webb, Volunteer

Fran Campbell Volunteer

Fran Campbell, Volunteer

Jane Kashuba Volunteeer

Jane Kashuba, Volunteeer


Dinosaurs Return Summer 2015!

News Article From: Roanoke Island on Monday, April 13th, 2015
"Tyrannosaurs Trek" opens to the public on Saturday, May 23 at 9:30 a.m.

Tyrannosaurs Trek opens Saturday, May 23,  at 9:30 a.m.

This summer, visitors to the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island will experience the return of the dinosaurs! Tyrannosaurs Trek brings life-size, animated dinosaurs to our nature trail, featuring tyrannosaurus rex, parasaurolophus, triceratops, stegosaurus, ankylosaurus and four babies. This educational experience is for the entire family, and children will be thrilled as the dinosaurs move and call using sounds they made millions of years ago when they roamed earth. Admission to this exhibit is free with regular Aquarium admission and will be open through August 2015.



Marine Debris Sculpture Workshop

News Article From: Roanoke Island on Monday, April 13th, 2015


Marine Debris Sculpture Workshop

Click photo for more details.

Join the Aquarium to build sea life sculptures out of trash collected from the ocean! A local high school student working toward her Gold Award for Girl Scouts has arranged this creative and interactive  project in celebration of Earth Day. These free workshops are set for April 18, 25, and 26 from 9–11 a. m. and children of all ages are invited. Participants can take part in the workshop at no charge, or pay Aquarium  admission and enjoy both the Aquarium and the workshop. We hope to see you for this educational and fun activity honoring Earth Day!


Grow Milkweed for Monarchs

News Article From: Roanoke Island on Wednesday, April 1st, 2015
We love monarch caterpillars!

We love monarch caterpillars!

Add milkweed to your garden to help monarch butterflies! Milkweed seed will be available at Earth Fair OBX IV on April 18th from 1:00 to 4:00pm at Jennette’s Pier.

How to grow milkweed for monarchs

The seed of Butterfly Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa) usually germinates readily when sown at room temperature, with an average soil temperature of 70 degrees F. Seedlings can be started indoors in a greenhouse or under artificial lighting and then transplanted outdoors after the average date of last frost.

Materials needed:

  • Plastic nursery flats or pots, enough to allow proper spacing between seeds. Make sure they have drainage holes. Used containers should be washed thoroughly or bleached to prevent disease.
  • Seed-starting soil mix or lightweight potting soil. Don’t use garden soil or topsoil for starting seed in containers.
  • Spray bottle or hose-end misting nozzle

The soil should be evenly moistened, not soggy. Fill your container to ½ inch from the top, and smooth the surface gently without packing the soil. Sow the seed about ½ inch apart. They can be scattered on top or placed in straight rows across the width of the container. Cover lightly with additional dry soil mix, not more than ¼ inch deep. Mist with water to moisten evenly.

Place your container under grow lights, in a warm sunny window, or in a greenhouse. A clear plastic cover can be used to keep the seed from drying out, if it’s slightly vented and/or shaded to prevent excess heat build-up. Mist the soil when the surface is dry. Germination will start in 7 to 10 days at 70 to 75 degrees. Remove plastic covers and continue to mist as needed when seedlings emerge, or water from the bottom by placing containers in 2 inches of water until moisture appears on the surface. Do not overwater! Wet conditions encourage fungal disease that can kill seedlings.

Milkweed seeds can be sown outdoors in spring after the danger of frost has passed (usually early April in Dare County). Garden soil should be well-loosened at least 6 inches deep. Don’t wait too long, since high soil temperatures may keep seed from germinating.

Milkweed can be transplanted at 3 to 6 inches in height, either to individual pots, or directly to the garden when the soil has warmed up. Get the seedlings used to outdoor conditions in a sheltered location on warm days, and keep them outside when overnight temperatures are at least 50. They should be spaced 12 to 18 inches apart in the garden, in full sun and well-drained soil. Butterfly milkweed doesn’t like to be moved when it’s full-grown, so try to pick a location where they can stay. Mulch to retain moisture and minimize weed growth.

Milkweed seedlings will be ready for purchase at the NC Aquarium by May 15th. Please email for information:

Learn more about milkweed and monarch butterfly conservation:

Seafood Series presents the Black Pelican Chef Nate Bean

News Article From: Roanoke Island on Monday, March 9th, 2015

Tantalize your taste buds with new recipes from the sea presented by a local restaurant chef. Different seafoods are featured at each session with an emphasis on local Outer Banks seafood. Class participants receive biological information, copies of all recipes and a savory sample of each dishBlack Pelican Chef Nate Bean prepared. Our presenter: Chef Nate Bean from the Black Pelican Restaurant in Kitty Hawk.

Chef Nate Bean from the Black Pelican Restaurant in Kitty Hawk: Tuesday, April 21, noon

Chef Johanna Lachine of Cafe Lachine in Nags Head: Tuesday, May 5 at 6 p.m.

Ages: 12 and up

$23 per person; $18 for NC Aquarium Members

Duration 2 Hours


Four Stars for efficiency, effectiveness and transparency!

News Article From: Roanoke Island on Monday, February 23rd, 2015


North Carolina Aquarium Society gives $4.5 million to North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island for gallery, exhibits and entrance renovations.  Construction to begin October 2015.

North Carolina Aquarium Society gives $4.5 million to North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island for gallery, exhibits and entrance renovations. Construction to begin October 2015.

Great news! Charity Navigator, the nation’s largest and most-trusted evaluator of charities, recently awarded the NC Aquarium Society four stars for efficiency, effectiveness and transparency.

This marks the third year in a row the Aquarium Society has received the group’s highest rating. Learn more about how this impacts the Aquariums at:


Sea Turtle Exploration Teacher Workshop

News Article From: Roanoke Island on Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

The North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher presents Sea Turtle Exploration: a curriculum to help educators engage students in the fundamentals of STEAM through ready-to-use, standards based lesson plans and sea turtles. Join us for a hands-on teacher workshop guiding you through our new curriculum and website.sea turtle

In addition to the curriculum, you will learn about additional resources such as weekly blog posts will be made during the school year. Topics will include: species profiles, aquarium staff spotlights, behind the scenes videos, new lesson plans and more. Even follow the growth of Aquarium hatchling sea turtles by visiting the blog each week!

Aligned with the new Common Core and Essential Standards, your class will be able to “adopt” a turtle and learn about its care and growth. By adopting our sea turtle you will receive weekly updates with information including the turtle’s current weight and length. Each class will also receive a certificate of participation.

By the end of the workshop, you will be familiar with the website and curriculum and how to implement the lessons in your own classroom. These three hour workshops qualify for NC EE Certification Criteria III. Workshops will be taking place across the state.

When: Saturday, March 7, 2015 from 1:00–4:00 PM

Location: North Carolina Aquarium at Roanoke Island, Manteo, NC

Cost: $10


Pea Island Life Savers are topic of NC Aquarium this winter

News Article From: Roanoke Island on Monday, January 26th, 2015

Warm up this winter with harrowing tales of courage and battles against the odds from Life-Saving Station #17.  The North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island will feature showings of “Rescue Men,” a documentary chronicling the story of the all black crew of surf men stationed on the Outer Banks from the late 1800s up to 1947. Led by local Richard Etheridge, the Pea Island crew was the first entirely black crew and one of the most courageous of the Life-Saving Service,  which was the precursor of today’s U.S. Coast Guard. Join the Aquarium in celebrating Black History Month with free viewings each Sunday in February at 1:30 p.m.

Richard Etheridge and his crew of all black life savers, historic rescues and challenges during their time.

Richard Etheridge and his crew of all black life savers, historic rescues and challenges during their time.

Afterwards, view the in-house exhibit dedicated to the Pea Island Life Savers and visit the on-site memorial and gravesite of Richard Etheridge and his family. “Rescue Men” will be available for purchase in the Aquarium gift shop.

The NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island is at 374 Airport Road, Manteo, NC. For more information, please call 252-475-2300, or visit





Aqua Tots Program Free with Admission

News Article From: Roanoke Island on Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

Aqua TotsThe Aquarium is offering ”Aqua Tots” programs for toddlers (ages 2–5), and each is free with regular admission! Parents can sit back and relax as the little ones play and learn while accompanied by our education staff. Children will be introduced to an animal topic or a nature theme through stories and hands-on learning.

April 7: Sharks & Rays

April 21: Turtles

All “Aqua Tots” programs are scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. and last for approximately one hour. Spaces are limited, so reserve a spot for your child today!

Free admission on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

News Article From: Roanoke Island,Uncategorized on Monday, January 12th, 2015

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. asked this question: “What did you do to help others?”

In honor of Dr. King, the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island is offering free admission on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Monday, January 19. Bring family and friends and enjoy exhibits, live animals and educational programs. A live dive presentation is scheduled at 10:30 a.m. Although admission is free, visitors are encouraged to bring canned goods to contribute to the local food pantry.