Latest News from Roanoke Island

Dive Team reaches milestone

News Article From: Roanoke Island on Thursday, November 6th, 2014

The Aquarium dive team reached a milestone Wednesday, Nov. 5, logging 50,000 individual dive splashes since April 2000. All together 936 different divers spent a total of 43,725 hours underwater, which equals about 5 years!  Congratulations to the dive team!










NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island Advisory Committee Meeting

News Article From: Roanoke Island on Monday, November 3rd, 2014

Aquarium Logo RI blueThe NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island Advisory Committee is holding its quarterly meeting in the conference room at the Aquarium on Wednesday, November 12, at 1 p.m. The meeting is open to the public. The Aquarium is at 374 Airport Road in Manteo, NC.

Donate to our Santa Paws Tree

News Article From: Roanoke Island on Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

The North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island is collecting gifts for our Santa Paws tree for the four-legged friends at the Outer Banks SPCA. On Fri., Nov. 21- Mon., Dec. 22, visitors bringing 7 lbs. or more of dry food, puppy or kitten chow, or dog or cat food receive a free Aquarium admission.

Other helpful items on the Santa Paws list include toys for dogs and cats, rawhides, blankets, dog shampoo, kitty litter and pillowcases.

Help spread holiday spirit and cheer to the animals at the SPCA, and thank you from the Aquarium staff for your continued support and generous contributions to help our furry friends during this holiday season.



Nautilus Gallery at Aquarium has Wild Art Exhibit

News Article From: Roanoke Island on Monday, October 13th, 2014

From whales to owls, enjoy wildlife as seen through the eyes of artists in a new exhibit at the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island.

“That’s Wild!” features 16 works by members of the North Carolina Wildlife Artist Society.

The organization brings wildlife artists, wildlife advocates, wildlife art collectors and outdoor enthusiasts together to convey conservation messages through art.

“It is the duty of the wildlife artist to record the habitat, the day-to-day activity and the beauty of our flora and fauna so others may learn and implement whatever they can to protect and nurture..’’ the Society says in its self-description.

The works at the Aquarium include oil, acrylic, copper etching and photography. The exhibit, in the Nautilus Gallery across from the Aquarium’s gift shop, is free with admission or membership and runs through December 2014.


2nd Annual Wounded Warrior Beach Bash

News Article From: Roanoke Island on Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

Warriors enjoyed a dive with the sharks at the Aquarium.

The N.C. Aquarium on Roanoke Island was honored to host a cookout Sept. 27 as the final event for the 2nd Annual Wounded Warrior Beach Bash. More than 200 people attended and enjoyed food from the grill, graciously prepared by Aquarium staff and volunteers, along with beverages donated by Pepsi Bottling Ventures of Elizabeth City.  A multitude of sponsors contributed items that were raffled to raise funds for the Wounded Warrior Project, Patriots for Disabled Divers and Dare County Veterans.  Raffle ticket sales and donations  totaled nearly $1,300.  It was a great night for the community and camaraderie.

Prior to the cookout, days were fun filled for the visiting warriors and their families.  Housing was  donated by Sun Realty, Joe Lamb Jr. & Associates and Outer Banks Blue.  Warriors enjoyed fishing at Jennette’s Pier and kayaking with Kitty Hawk Kayak and Surf School.  The Aquarium’s Graveyard of the Atlantic exhibit was an exciting dive site for warriors and other guest divers.  The Aquarium dive staff took great care of our guests, as they swam among the sharks and fish in the 285,000 gallon exhibit.

Guests at the Wounded Warrior Beach Bash Cookout.

Aquarium Director Maylon White manned the grill for the Beach Bash cookout.









Take part in the 28th Annual Big Sweep

News Article From: Roanoke Island on Friday, October 3rd, 2014

Help us clean up our Outer Banks shorelines and beaches!

The NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island is joining the Outer Banks Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation and taking part in the 28th Annual Big Sweep across North Carolina event on Saturday, October 11 from 9:00 to 12:00 to help make Roanoke Island beautiful! Join us for juice and donuts at the Aquarium at 9:00. Paddle along the northwest side of Roanoke Island at 9:30 and help sweep the shoreline for marine debris during a FREE kayak outing. The morning will conclude on foot with a cleanup at the Old Swimming Hole behind the Aquarium at 11:00. If you would rather clean up along another area of Roanoke Island, stop by the Aquarium first and pick up your cleanup gear, trash bags, and data cards – you can then drop off your collected trash back at the Aquarium. Your completed data cards will then become your ticket to the TrashFest at the Outer Banks Brewing Station from 12:00-4:00.

All ages are welcome to participate in the walking cleanups, but the kayak outing is restricted to ages 8 and older. Kayak spaces are limited, and will be filled on a first come first serve basis. Pre-registration is not required, but is encouraged.

There are no fees to participate in the cleanup, but regular admission rates apply for an Aquarium visit.

For more information, or to register for the kayaking trip, please contact the Aquarium at 252-473-3494, ext. 251.


NC Aquarium Society Funds $4.5 Million for Renovations

News Article From: Roanoke Island on Monday, August 25th, 2014

wrecking ball

On August 15, 2014, a ceremony was held at the NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island to announce the Exhibit Gallery Renovation Project.  Ray White of the NC Aquarium Society Board of Directors presented a $4.5 million check to John Skvarla, the Secretary of the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources, for the project. These funds were provided from private donations, corporate sponsors, and gift shop receipts.

Local dignitaries, government officials, and Aquarium staff members were all in attendance. Topped with hard hats, staff were excited to help put a wrecking ball through a symbolic wall and welcome the start of renovations, which will begin in October. See plans for a few of the renovations and more from the ceremony here


Track Sea Turtle with Satellite Tag

News Article From: Roanoke Island on Tuesday, August 5th, 2014


Green sea turtle Pluto was equipped with a satellite tag and released on June 20th, after being rehabilitated at the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island. No tracking data was recorded for weeks, and we worried that the tag had malfunctioned. A few days ago, the tag began emitting a signal! Pluto is currently swimming in the Pamlico Sound, north of Cedar Island. Follow the link to see where else Pluto travels!

River otter Bert will be missed at NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island

News Article From: Roanoke Island on Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

DSC_0088It is with sadness we bring you this message from Brian Dorn, Director of Operations and Husbandry at the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island.  Bert, our resident male river otter, passed away this afternoon at the Aquarium. He lived a long happy life, being enriched daily by our visitors and especially by our husbandry staff.  He helped visitors appreciate what river otters truly are and also inspired them to want to conserve the environment river otters inhabit. Bert holds a special place in our hearts and has given us all so many great memories.  He will truly be missed.

Aquarium Nautilus Gallery presents ‘Wild at Art’

News Article From: Roanoke Island on Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

In a profusion of horns, claws, feathers, fur, spots, stripes and colors, the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island unveiled a new exhibit in the Nautilus Gallery July 9. “Wild at Art” celebrates the incredible diversity of animal life with 30 original works by 22 members of the Raleigh-Durham chapter of the Colored Pencil Society of America (CPSA). Each painting is accompanied by interesting facts or conservation information about the animal it portrays. The exhibit will remain on view through September.

The Nautilus Gallery, across from the Aquarium gift shop, focuses on marine and wildlife art. Realizing the ability of art to help us understand and appreciate nature, aquariums and zoos have long used artistic renderings of animals to make important points memorable and to reinforce the special connection between people and animals. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums, a nonprofit professional organization dedicated to education, conservation, science and institutional accreditation, recognizes the power of art to encourage respect for the natural world.

“This exhibit impresses me with the diversity of artists’ styles, all springing from this deceptively simple medium – the colored pencil,” said Maylon White, director of the Aquarium on Roanoke Island. “Each piece is worthy of lengthy study and contemplation.”

Colored pencils have become a popular medium worldwide, well suited to capturing the beauty of nature. Their depth and intensity of color, ability to render fine detail and their durability make them suited to a wide range of subjects and techniques, from quick field sketches to scientific illustrations and formal portraits. Because colored pencils are semi-transparent, artists can create luminous, vibrant effects by layering and burnishing. And, because colored pencils are compatible with watercolor, acrylic, ink and graphite, they lend themselves to multimedia compositions.

The CPSA, founded in 1990, has 27 chapters and a total membership of more than 2,000. Although the Raleigh-Durham chapter is located in the Triangle, it has nationally and internationally recognized members throughout North Carolina. The chapter holds workshops and a weekly open studio, sponsors exhibitions and promotes the use of colored pencils for all art.

The  Aquarium on Roanoke Island, adjacent to the Manteo Regional Airport, is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily except Thanksgiving and Christmas. Admission: ages 3–12, $8.95; ages 13–61, $10.95; ages 62 +, $9.95. Children 2 and under and North Carolina Aquarium Society members are admitted free of charge.

For more information about Wild at Art or the Aquarium’s many other exhibits and programs, visit or call 252-473-3494 or 1-800-332-3475 extension 4. For more information about the Colored Pencil Society of America, visit and the Raleigh-Durham Chapter Web site at

Photo: “Toucans Ablaze,” colored pencil illustration by Jacqueline Balog.