Latest News from Roanoke Island

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


NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island Advisory Committee Meeting

News Article From: Roanoke Island on Friday, August 8th, 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 Wed., Aug. 13, at 1 p.m. The meeting is open to the public. The Aquarium is at 374 Airport Road in Manteo, NC.

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.


STAR Center Grand Opening

News Article From: Roanoke Island on Monday, July 14th, 2014


IMG_0286The Aquarium was proud to hold the grand opening of the Sea Turtle Assistance and Rehabilitation (STAR) Center on June 27. Aquarium Director Maylon White and NC Aquariums Division Director David Griffin spoke during the opening ceremony, along with Virginia Tillet, Dare County commissioner, and Karen Fitzgerald, president of the Network for Endangered Sea Turtles (NEST). As you can see from the photo, there was also assistance from a special guest sea turtle at the ribbon cutting.

Aquarium staff and NEST volunteers were on hand to greet the first visitors to the center and tell the stories of the sea turtles now being cared for. This video by Douglas Kenyon with Outer Banks Visions and Max Media NC summarizes the STAR Center opening at the Aquarium on Roanoke Island.

When sea turtles are found stranded, in distress or in need of help, like this loggerhead off the Avalon Pier, they are brought to the STAR Center to be treated and rehabilitated before eventually being returned to the sea.

Sea Turtle Release

News Article From: Roanoke Island on Thursday, June 19th, 2014

The NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island released six juvenile green sea turtles on June 20.DSC_0564 The turtles had been treated for cold-stunning last winter and were now ready to be returned to the sea. One turtle was  equipped with a satellite tag to track its movements after its release. Information collected by the tag is accessible online so people can see where and how far the turtle travels. A celebrative audience joined the Aquarium staff on a Frisco beach for the release of the turtles.

Go ahead, take a #dinoselfie

News Article From: Roanoke Island on Friday, June 13th, 2014

insert self

How often do you get the chance to take a selfie with a dinosaur? Well, this summer at the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island, you can fulfill that dream!  Our dinosaur exhibit, Tyrannosaurus Trek, has 10 dinos you can pick from to take a Jurassic selfie. Post your shot on Instagram using the tags #trextrek and #dinoselfie and the best will be picked for a fan photo contest on Facebook. The winner will receive a dino-tastic prize. You can also follow us on Instagram @ncaquariumri to keep up with all the fun activities and daily events happening at the Aquarium this summer!


Dinosaurs Arrive!

News Article From: Roanoke Island on Wednesday, May 14th, 2014


UPDATE 9/8/14: Tyrannosaurus Trek will not be open today, 9/8/14, due to construction along the trail to remove the dinosaurs tomorrow.

UPDATE 9/2/14: Tyrannosaurus Trek will now run until September 8th! The crew will be here to disassemble the dinosaurs on 9/9/14, so come see them before they go extinct (again).

Dinosaurs for the Aquarium’s new and exciting Tyrannosaurus Trek exhibit were delivered May 6th. An excited staff assisted with unloading and placing the dinosaurs along the nature trail. Standard Aquarium admission provides visitors with dramatic views and sounds of these ancient creatures – 10 in all, including stegosaurus and tyrannosaurus rex – from May 24 through Sept. 1. Visit our Facebook page for updates and information about the May 24 grand opening.


Support our Living Treasures

News Article From: Fort Fisher,Pine Knoll Shores,Roanoke Island on Friday, May 9th, 2014
NC Aquarium Offers New Business Memberships

Just in time for a busy, fun-filled summer, the NC Aquarium is offering a new Business Membership program that’s great for small business owners, their employees and customers. Starting at $300 per year, Business Members receive premium membership benefits, free admission tickets, discounts for their employees, recognition at the Aquarium, and more.

This program is just one part of the Aquarium’s new Living Treasures campaign, designed to expand community partnerships and grow private support. In addition to Business Memberships, the campaign offers donors a variety of options—including a new annual fund, sponsorship opportunities and planned giving. Proceeds from the campaign will help the Aquarium prosper by funding new animals, exhibits, programs and conservation priorities.

For almost thirty years, the private, nonprofit NC Aquarium Society has worked alongside the NC Aquariums to help fund major renovations and new exhibits at all four Aquarium locations—Roanoke Island, Jennette’s Pier, Fort Fisher and Pine Knoll Shores. Today, they’re highly-rated and popular attractions, with a combined annual visitation of 1.5 million.

Memberships are now available online at There you can also read about the Aquarium Society’s top ranking by Charity Navigator, the nation’s largest evaluator of nonprofits. In 2013, the Society was rated the #1 zoo and aquarium nonprofit in the nation.

Join online at

For more information, contact