Past Engagement Projects (2012 - Present)

Project Name Primary Partner Year Status CCMP Actions APNEP Funding Project Description
Coastal Discovery Camps North Carolina Coastal Federation 2017-2018 Complete D1.1, D1.5, D2.1, D2.3 $3,885 The North Carolina Coastal Federation, along with community partners, engaged 27 students in outdoor, experiential learning at two separate three-day camps. The first camp featured a visit to Hammocks Beach State Park, and the second featured a trip to Cape Lookout National Seashore. Both camps focused on water quality and local coastal ecology.
Discover North Carolina’s River Basins Education Program Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 Complete D1.1, D2.3, D1.3, D2.1 2015-15: $5000; 2016-17: $5000 Funding allowed for the printing and distribution of river basin publications that individuals and agencies rely on for teaching purposes. The education materials are part of an awareness program to educate citizens about the role they play in the health and conservation of coastal waters. Ultimately this grant helped expand the reach of the River Basin Program, increasing environmental education opportunities and fostering environmental stewardship.
Shad in the Classroom Museum of Natural Sciences 2011-present Ongoing D1.1, D2.1, D2.2 2019: $10,900; 2018: $9,000; 2017: $26,230; 2015-2016: $43,545; 2014: $28,551; 2012-2013: $39,003; 2011: $12,713; APNEP provides grant funding for this program, which is managed by the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and aims to connect students with their local watersheds through raising and releasing American Shad into the Neuse and Roanoke Rivers. The annual program begins with a teacher training in February. American Shad eggs and aquarium supplies are given to teachers, and fish larvae are released by students in April. The program aims to establish a real-world connection for students and increase their excitement about our living environment. About American ShadAmerican shad, an anadromous fish (born in freshwater, makes its way to saltwater to live, and travels back to freshwater to spawn), is in decline. Dam construction, overfishing and water pollution are just a few factors contributing to its demise, and APNEPs hope to restore the species. Though the fish once thrived in North Carolina’s rivers, they are in such decline that larger animals have lost a valuable food source.
Sea Wolf at CMAST Communication Project North Carolina State University 2015-2016 Complete D1.1, D2.2, D2.3 $681 APNEP provided funding for Sea Wolves at CMAST, a program for high school students who are interested in careers in coastal marine science and technology. Students worked with area scientists to explore a research topic and apply the scientific process, as well as communicating coastal science to the public.
Secrets of the Swamp and River Days NC Museum of Natural Sciences 2015-2016 Complete D2.1, D2.2 $3,000 The NC Museum of Natural Sciences hosted a two-part educational experience to bring awareness to the history and conservation status of the Roanoke River. In the first part of the experience, called, Secrets of the Swamp, educators from across the state made their way to the bottomland hardwood swamp. The program featured a paddle trip to camping platforms—a field experience that provided in-depth exploration of eastern North Carolina’s ecosystems and habitats.The second part of the experience followed the field experience, at the Environmental Educators of North Carolina Conference. Attendees included many of those that participated in Secrets of the Swamp. The Museum brought its inflatable geodome theatre, and played a short documentary, titled, We are the River. The documentary showed the cultural and natural resources of the Roanoke River, along with its history and conservation efforts. Overall, the experience increased awareness of the river basin, and magnified the Museum’s efforts, as it educated a number of teachers.
Effects of Environment on Blue Crab Size Student Research Project Duke University Marine Lab 2015-2016 Complete D2.1 $4,000 With the hypothesis that crab size is due to the rate of carapace calcification in the interval after crabs’ molt, and the idea that calcification rates are low due to temperature differences or lack of calcium ions, Duke Marine Lab sent high school students out to the Lake Mattamuskeet for data collection. During bimonthly trips to the lake, students caught and weighed crabs, recorded gender and size, and took photos. The blue crabs at the lake were 30% larger in carapace width compared to crabs found in higher salinity waters in North Carolina.
Seeds of Inspiration N.C. Coastal Federation 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 Complete D1.1, D1.5, D2.1, D2.3, C1.3 2016-2017: $2165; 2015-2016: $2530 From June to August 2016, Dare County schoolchildren in kindergarten through fifth grade participated in this literacy program. The joint partnership between the NC Coastal Federation and Mano al Hermano brought volunteers to read and work on an activity with participating children once a week. At the end of the program, students attended a field trip to Jockey’s Ridge State Park.About Mano al Hermano: The mission of Mano al Hermano is to empower Latino family through education and positive integration programs.
Project Wet Facilitator Workshop NC Division of Water Resources - Project WET Program 2013-2014 and 2015-2016 Complete D2.2 2015-2016: $1304; 2013-2014: $2000 APNEP provided funding to the NC Division of Water Resources' Project WET program in order to host a workshop and train additional Project WET facilitators.
Summer Teacher Institute University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 2004-Present Ongoing D1.1, D2.1, D2.2, D2.3 2018: $24,000; 2017: $24,000; 2016: $22,000; 2015: $25,000; 2014: $11,000; 2013: $12,000; 2012: $12,000; 2011: $25,000; 2010: $24,000; 2009: $12,000; 2008: $3,000; 2007: $10,000; 2006: $21,680; 2005: $25,000; 2004: $25,000; The Teacher Professional Development Institute annually brings together K-12 teachers for a multi-day professional development workshop, with priority given to applications from educators in the Albemarle-Pamlico region. The immersive experience varies each year, depending on identified topic and audience needs, but includes an in-depth investigation of watersheds and use of science-based activities and resources. The goals of the program are to increase teacher knowledge of watershed science, provide resources to teach watershed science, and increase teacher confidence in describing watersheds. To accomplish these goals, teachers experienced authentic outdoor learning experiences such as the exploration of maritime forest, estuary, salt marsh, living shoreline, and coastal blackwater ecosystems. In addition to the experiences, attendees are provided with instructional materials, maps, posters and books. Participating teachers earned credits toward becoming a Certified Environmental Educator in North Carolina.
"We Are Nature Heroes!" Library Programs NC Aquarium-Roanoke Island 2015 Complete D1.1, D2.3 $2,900 Funding was provided to the NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island to offset costs for local library programs in northeastern NC about the challenges of protecting endangered species. 29 programs were conducted at 27 local libraries in 12 of the 13 Tier 1 counties in northeastern North Carolina, with 1876 people participating.
Sound Rivers Film Support Sound Rivers 2015-2016 Complete D1.1, D1.2, D1.3, D1.4, D2.1, D2.2, D2.3 $4,103 Funding provided multimedia support for several APNEP initiatives, including highlighting the sounds and river basins in the Albemarle-Pamlico watershed, an overview of environmental conditions, and the production of multimedia materials to be included in estuarine- and watershed-themed educational lessons. The position also supported the work of APNEP’s AmeriCorps member.
Project GEOS Americorps Member Conservation Trust for NC 2015-2016 Complete D1.1, D1.2, D1.3, D1.4, D2.1, D2.2, D2.3 $9,000 Funding supported hiring a Project GEOS Americorps member to work for APNEP, primarily focusing on outreach and education activities as well as creating videos for APNEP and its funded programs.
Integrating Digital & Experiental Learning: The Science of the NC Coast Seminar North Carolina Coastal Federation 2015-2016 Complete D1.1, D2.1, D2.2, D2.3 $4,000 Funds were used to support a professional development seminar at the NC Center for the Advancement of Teaching on Ocracoke Island. This four day, four night session ran at full capacity with 22 teachers. The focus of this seminar was to introduce free digital learning resources to educators, including virtual field trips and lesson plans that support science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) learning initiatives.
Americorps Mountain to Sea Program NC Environmental Education 2014-2015 Complete D1.1, D1.2, D1.3, D1.4, D2.1, D2.2, D2.3 $6,392 Through a grant provided by the NC Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources provided APNEP with an AmeriCorps position.
Virginia Watershed Coordinator Virginia Department of Environmental Quality 2013 Complete All $7,601 Funding supported a Virginia Field Coordinator based in Virginia Beach, to coordinate efforts between North Carolina and Virginia in relation to the shared Pasquotank, Chowan, and Roanoke River Basins.
Basic Observation Buoy (BOB) Estuarine Monitoring Program UNC Coastal Studies Institute 2011-2012 and 2013-2014 Complete Water Quality, Stewardship (previous CCMP) 2013-14: $12,000 This is an expansion of a project started during the 2011-2012 school year. In the Albemarle-Pamlico region, seven schools in Dare, Currituck, Hyde, Tyrrell, and Pasquotank counties participate in this program, which allows students to collect water quality and meteorological data. Prior to the start of the program, two teachers from each of the seven schools attend a workshop. The students are taught how to construct an observation buoy with environmental sensors and are taught to read those sensors. In the 2013-2014 school year, this project is thought to have reached at least 150 students.
Environmental Education Bookmark Contest NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Soil and Water Conservation 2013-2014 Complete Water Quality, Stewardship (previous CCMP) $3,200 APNEP funding assisted with providing outreach to over 4,000 fifth-grade students and 8,000 adults in the Albemarle-Pamlico region. Participants learned about the importance of this estuarine system through a bookmark creating contest. Created bookmarks were distributed through local libraries in 23 counties.
Place-Based Education, Essential Standards, Citizen Science and Contributing to APNEP Conservation Outcomes and Informing Place Based Management Duke University 2012-2013 Complete D1.1, D1.3, D2.1, D2.2, E1.1, E1.3, E2.2 $5,946 This project involved two schools in the Albemarle-Pamlico region: Cape Lookout School in Carteret County and Lake Mattamuskeet Schools in Hyde County. Middle and high school students acted as citizen scientists through this place and heritage-based education program. With materials to capture crabs, students from each school documented the crabs’ presence in three separate areas. In addition to this, students found the temperature of the water, measured pH, salinity, dissolved oxygen and turbidity.
Economic Valuation of the Albemarle-Pamlico Watershed's Natural Resources RTI International 2015-2016 Complete D3.1 $79,876 RTI, an independent research foundation in Durham, NC, completed an evaluation of the APNEP watershed’s resources. Researchers focused on two main topics: the ways people living in and around the watershed benefit from its land, water and ecosystems, and the benefits derived from these things on an annual basis, expressed in dollar amounts.Researchers identified the value of the forestry, commercial fishing and recreation sectors. In addition to this, climate regulation in terms of carbon storage in trees and submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) was quantified.The final report was released in April 2016. Future research might focus on the value of ground and surface water resources, water quality regulation, storm surge regulation, and waste assimilation by land, air, and water.Link:
Economic Analysis of the Costs and Benefits of Restoration and Enhancement of Shellfish Habitat and Oyster Propagation in North Carolina RTI International 2015-2016 Complete D3.1 $34,829 RTI International, an independent research foundation in Durham, NC, completed an evaluation of North Carolina’s shellfish restoration and enhancement. The purpose of the evaluation was to improve on documenting habitat enhancement projects improve the coastal economy and environment in the future. Several valuable pieces of information were gleaned from the evaluation. First, the oyster enhancement program supports over 500 acres of habitat, providing benefits for commercial and recreation fishing, as well as water quality. For every $1 invested, $4.05 is produced in benefits. From 2010-2015, $31.8 million was generated in business revenue. In addition to his, the industry provided jobs in the area.The state began oyster enhancement activities in 1915. Today, the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries manages programs for oyster enhancement. With partners like the US Army Corps of Engineers, the National Ocean and Atmospheric Association, the North Carolina Coastal Federation and the Nature Conservancy, NCDMF works on shellfish rehabilitation, an oyster sanctuary program and an artificial reef program.
2015 Joint Graduate Fellowship in Estuarine Research North Carolina Sea Grant 2015-2016 Complete D2.1, D2.3 $5,750 Working with North Carolina Sea Grant, APNEP funds a fellowship to provide a graduate student in North Carolina or Virginia with the opportunity to conduct applied research in the North Carolina portion of the APNEP management boundary. The 2015 Fellowship was awarded to Liz Brown-Pickren, an M.S. student at East Carolina University, to investigate perception of and response to fish consumption advisories in Tyrell County, North Carolina.
2018 Environmental Educators of North Carolina Conference Sponsorship Environmental Educators of North Carolina 2018 Complete D2.2 $1,000 APNEP helped to sponsor the 2018 Environmental Educators of North Carolina conference, which brings together formal and informal environmental educators from across North Carolina to share current EE best practices and discuss how the EE community can support its practitioners from the mountains to the coast. The conference was originally schedule to be held in Atlantic Beach, North Carolina, but was moved to Durham due to impacts from Hurricane Florence.
Outer Banks (National Scenic Byway) Heritage Trails Brochures Saltwater Connections (Core Sound Waterfowl Museum) 2014-2015 Complete A1.1, D1.5, D2.1 $2,250 APNEP provided funds to print brochures for the Outer Banks Heritage Trails project. The trails identified and interpreted in the brochure included: Traditions, Trades, and Treasures (community heritage); Land, Sea, and Lighthouses (maritime history); Marsh, Sound, and Maritime Forest (outdoor recreation); and From Dock to Table (local seafood).
LifeTracks - Great Egrets Teacher Workshop NC Museum of Natural Sciences 2014 Complete D2.2, D2.1 $2,259.52 APNEP provided funds to support the LifeTrack - Great Egrets project, which was a collaborative effort to conduct scientific research on Great Egrets and bring that research into North Carolina classrooms. The NC Museum of Natural Sciences (NCMNS), the Reese Institute at Lenoir Rhyne University (LR), and the NC Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) worked collaboratively in this effort. A teacher workshop focused on Great Egret biology, life history, and management, was held at Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge.
NC Catch Placements Saltwater Connections (Core Sound Waterfowl Museum) 2014 Complete D2.3 $2,242 APNEP provided funds to print NC Catch placemats for use in regional restaurants. The placemats provided tourists and residents with information about the region's fisheries, including the importance of estuarine health in maintaining healthy fisheries.
Blue Crab Workshop Duke University Marine Lab 2014 Complete D2.2, D2.1 $2,000 APNEP supported a teacher workshop about blue crabs, one of North Carolina's largest fisheries. The workshop included a field trip to Rachel Carson Reserve and an introduction to lessons about blue crabs.
Chowan River Basin Booklets Albemarle-Chowan Roundtable 2014 Complete D1.1, D2.3, D1.3, D2.1 $2,457 APNEP provided funds to print river basin booklets for the entire Chowan River Basin (Virginia and North Carolina).
Prioritizing Coastal Habitats and Carbon Resilience Project Duke University, NC Department of Environmental Quality, NC Natural and Working Lands Workgroup, VIMS, ODU, TNC, Sea Grant NOAA. 2020-2021 Complete A2.2, A2.3, B2.3, B3.1, C2.3, D3.3 Staff time APNEP participated on a United States Climate Alliance (USCA) project to expand work led by Duke University for the NC-DEQ Natural and Working Lands sub-teams that were established to support NC Governor's Executive Order #80. The project is a multi-state effort that includes APNEP partners in Virginia and other Atlantic coast states. The project involves spatial analysis to map and prioritize coastal habitats that store carbon, enhance resilience to coastal hazards, and support a variety of species.
2019 APNEP-NC Sea Grant Joint Fellowship in Estuarine Research North Carolina Sea Grant 2019-2020 Complete D2.3 $5,750 Working with North Carolina Sea Grant, APNEP funds a fellowship to provide a graduate student in North Carolina or Virginia with the opportunity to conduct applied research in the North Carolina portion of the APNEP management boundary. The 2019 Fellowship was awarded to Haley Plaas, an M.S. student at the UNC Institute of Marine Sciences, to investigate links between the recent expansion of cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms in the Albemarle Sound and the potential for bloom toxins to aerosolize and pose a threat to human health.
Albemarle-Pamlico Watershed Highway Signs NC Department of Transportation 2019-2020 Complete D2.1 $35,000 APNEP and NC DOT partnered to design and erect highway signs at the points where major North Carolina highways cross into the Albemarle-Pamlico watershed. These signs will raise awareness of upstream connections to the sounds and reach a broad audience. Locations are: 1-40 E in Orange County, near Exit 157; 1-64 E in Wake County, near I-540; US-1 N in Wake County, near I-540; I-95 N in Johnston County, near Exit 79; I-40 W in Sampson County, near Exit 341; and US-17 N in Onslow County, between Jacksonville and Maysville.