Latest News from Roanoke Island

Intern Designs Plankton Exhibit at Jennette’s Pier

News Article From: Roanoke Island on Thursday, July 30th, 2015

Lisa Callister, Youth Advocacy Involvement Office Intern (YAIO) at the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island and NC State Graphic Design student, was presented with a unique challenge when she began her internship in late May. Jennette’s Pier, part of the State Aquarium Division, was in need of educational signage to accompany a 32-point, interactive touchscreen, showcasing varieties of plankton and their importance to the ocean’s eco-system. Lisa was ready to meet the challenge. After being briefed on the project by her supervisor and meeting with staff at Jennette’s Pier, she dove into “Life in a Drop of Water” full force and developed two sign panels and a title panel to accompany the touchscreen. After designing the panels, she used equipment at the Aquarium to print, mount and prep the signs, then worked collaboratively with exhibit staff to install the signage at the pier. The project has been well received and the public seems to truly enjoy learning about the different kinds of plankton and the wonderful plankton research partnerships Jennette’s Pier has with the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and First Flight High School’s science students. Great job, Lisa!

What’s the BUZZ at the Aquarium?

News Article From: Roanoke Island on Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

Insects are the most common animals on earth and live in almost every habitat on our planet. They come in diverse shapes, sizes and colors, and many eat an amazing array of foods while others have extremely specialized diets. Some insects bite or sting. Others are problematic to farmers and gardeners. But many insects are beneficial and help pollinate our fruits, flowers and vegetables and make useful products such as honey, beeswax and silk. Of more than 1.5 million insect species, only 3 percent are considered pests.

The North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island is proud to present BUZZ, 35 accurately detailed renderings of insects, bugs and spiders created by the Colored Pencil Society of America, Raleigh-Durham Chapter especially for the N.C. Aquariums. Bees, beetles, dragonflies, moths, butterflies, caterpillars, praying mantises, walking sticks, and even the underappreciated American cockroach will crawl or flutter across the Aquarium’s Nautilus Art Gallery through September, 2015.

“Ceropia Robin Moth,” colored pencil illustration by Jackie Balog

“Ceropia Robin Moth,” colored pencil illustration by Jackie Balog

Colored pencils have become a popular medium worldwide. They are well suited for capturing the beauty of nature. Their depth and intensity of color, their 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.

Says Toby Shaw, President of CPSA Raleigh-Durham District Chapter 114, “We’re thrilled to have created the BUZZ art show for the North Carolina Aquariums. Chapter participants did a lot of research into bugs from around the world before putting pencil, brush or paint to the paper. We learned a lot about different bugs and how beautiful and beneficial they are…and how much we need to work to save endangered species, such as the honey bee.”

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 in every kind of art.

BUZZ is included with regular Aquarium admission. For more information about the Colored Pencil Society of America, visit and the Raleigh-Durham Chapter Web site at

North Carolina Aquariums among the best in the US

News Article From: Fort Fisher,Pine Knoll Shores,Roanoke Island,Uncategorized on Monday, July 20th, 2015
The North Carolina Aquariums are stars! Visitors rated the three state Aquariums among the best in the nation on a popular travel website.

The North Carolina Aquariums are stars! Visitors rated the three state Aquariums among the best in the nation on a popular travel website.

Fascinating animals, friendly staff and dynamic exhibits make the North Carolina Aquariums three of the best in the nation, according to a popular travel website.

The Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores came in at number 12, Fort Fisher at 16 and Roanoke Island, 19, on the TripAdvisor® list of the top 25 aquariums in the United States.

The state-operated facilities share top billing with much larger counterparts on the Travelers’ Choice™ scorecard. The high honors resulted from comments and ratings hundreds of visitors to the North Carolina Aquariums contributed to the travel website over 12 months. TripAdvisor® says it uses an algorithm that takes into account the quantity and quality of such reviews.

Visitors praised the clever ways learning is integrated with family fun, the helpful and friendly staff and volunteers, experiences such as seeing sea turtles and touching stingrays, and the variety of exhibits on offer each year.

Here are some comments that propelled the Aquariums to the winners’ circle. Click on the name of each facility to see more of the TripAdvisor® reviews.

Pine Knoll Shores: “Wonderful, helpful staff…Absolutely beautiful and educational…There are always new exhibits.”

Fort Fisher: “North Carolina’s jewel of an aquarium…A must-see attraction…Loved being able to touch the rays.”

Roanoke Island: “We were able to ask questions to the divers while they were in the tank…Otters were just too much fun…I have been there six different years and each time was as exciting as the first.”

David Griffin, Director of the North Carolina Aquariums Division, thanked visitors who took time to comment on their experiences on the travel site. “We appreciate the honor. More importantly, though, visitors are saying they learned about fish and sharks and other aquatic animals while enjoying time with their families. That is what we want to hear. That is why we go to work every day,” he said.

The Aquariums, under the N.C. Department of Natural Resources, share a common mission to inspire appreciation and conservation of North Carolina’s aquatic environments. The facilities also are major players in coastal tourism. More than a million people visited the three Aquariums in 2014. The Aquariums Division also operates Jennette’s Pier at Nags Head, an educational fishing pier that recorded 850,000 visitors in 2014.

Donation for Aquarium’s new Jelly Gallery

News Article From: Roanoke Island on Tuesday, June 16th, 2015

Maylon White (center), director of the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island, and Larry Warner, exhibits curator, accepted a gracious donation of $30,000 from Pamla Pekrun, external affairs manager with Dominion North Carolina Power, on behalf of the North Carolina Aquarium Society. The donation is in support of the new sea jellies exhibit scheduled to open in summer 2016 at the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island. Featuring three large cylindrical tanks and two circular wall tanks, the exhibit allows the Aquarium to showcase various jelly species while educating the public on these delicate drifters!


Responsible Pier Initiative Workshops

News Article From: Roanoke Island on Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

The North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island and Jennette’s Pier are partnering with Loggerhead Marinelife Center and Responsible Pier Initiative Program to provide first-responders with the necessary resources to act efficiently for sea turtle injuries and strandings on or around fishing piers. Jennette’s Pier is the first pier in North Carolina to participate in this first-of-its-kind program designed as a collaborative tool to work directly with fishermen and fishing piers.

Free workshops for the general public in conjunction with Loggerhead Marinelife Center are set for:

  • May 28, 3 p.m., North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island
  • May 29, 8 a.m., Jennette’s Pier

Also scheduled is an underwater clean up beneath Jennette’s Pier in conjunction with Roanoke Island Outfitters and Dive Center. The Dive Center is offering free air/fills and $25 gear rentals for certified divers and others interested in helping clean under the pier. Date for pier clean up is to be determined in the near future. If interested please contact Jason Sheremeta at 252 475-2320 or by email at


The Responsible Pier Initiative consists of four core componentsturtle signs
Above the water-line:
1. Educational workshops conducted for fishing pier first responders, fishermen, and general public.
2. Educational signage and rescue nets provided to participating fishing piers.
3. Pollution prevention measures on participating fishing piers.

Below the water-line:
4. Underwater cleaning beneath participating fishing piers and surrounding areas on a regular basis.

Dinosaur-sized postcard at the Manteo Post Office!

News Article From: Roanoke Island on Friday, May 8th, 2015

When the Aquarium was invited to put a display in the Manteo Post Office, the exhibit design team wanted to create something special to announce the return of the life-size, animatronic dinosaurs to the Aquarium’s nature trail and expanded dinosaur exhibit this summer. What could be better than a classic Outer Banks postcard from our hometown post office? It even has a Manteo post mark and its own “Extinction is FOREVER” stamp!

The Aquarium’s Tyrannosaurus Trek exhibit opens to the public Saturday, May 23, at 9:30 a.m. Join us for this exciting day and the return of the dinosaurs! Children dressed as dinosaurs receive free admission for the opening of Tyrannosaurus Trek. Other activities include fossil discovery, T-Rex and friends face painting and dinosaur hop scotch. Aquarium admission is required!


Aquarium Advisory Committee Meeting Scheduled

News Article From: Roanoke Island on Friday, May 8th, 2015

Advisory Committee Meeting Notice for the NC Aquarium on Roanoke Islandboy looking at turtle

The NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island Advisory Committee is holding its quarterly meeting at the aquarium on Wednesday, May 13 at 1:00 pm. The aquarium is located at 374 Airport Road in Manteo, NC. The meeting will be held in the Conference Room and is open to the public.


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!