From Manteo to Frisco – An Update from Cape Hatteras National Seashore

Being in Cape Hatteras for almost a month, I have been involved in many different programs and events that have led me to create
some of my own. The Surf Fishing program is held in the town of Frisco, NC allows visitors that sign up for the program to fish with Park Rangers and receive guidance on fishing against the strong waves of the Outer Banks. The Kayaking Program, the most popular of all the
park’s programs, lets guests that sign up to kayak along the Pamlico Sound to learn about the shallow freshwater environment on the other side of the barrier islands. Lastly, The Soundside Explorers program allows guests to explore the shallow depths of the Pamlico Sound by catching small fish, crabs, and other species that dwell within the waist-deep waters. Shadowing the Rangers that have led these programs for various seasons, I was able to get an understanding of the types of programs that the park needed.

Birds make up an abundance of visible wildlife here at Cape Hatteras. You cannot go a day at the beach without seeing (and hearing) the distinct Laughing Gull, with its gull appearance sporting a black head. Birds of serious concern are tucked away in areas that are not accessible by anyone except researchers in the Resource Management Division for the National Park Service and the Fish and Wildlife Service, such as the Piping Plover, the American Oystercatcher, and the Least Tern to name a few. Visitors of the parks rarely see many of these birds, so information about them is not known by many, which inspired me to make a program educating visitors on the shorebirds, why they are essential to the Outer Banks, and the overall mission of the National Park Service. 

The Piping Plover, by Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Methods of Fishing by the Algonquian people included the use of fishing weirs, spears, nets, and canoes.

Another program I have been working on has been at the Fort Raleigh National Historic Site in Manteo, NC, an hour away from where I am stationed in Buxton, NC, but makes up part of the entirety of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. At Fort Raleigh, there is an emphasis on the area’s history, as it contains the first attempt at a permanent settlement by English colonists. The focus on historical preservation opened the door to many types of programs explaining the site’s history. It led me to create a program focused on traditional methods of fishing used by the Algonquian tribe that settled in the area. The site contains traditional fishing weirs used by the Algonquians when they dominated the area. It allows my program to explain fishing weirs to visitors and why the Algonquian people used them.

With almost a month under my belt here at Cape Hatteras National Seashore, I have been immersed into the history and the culture along with the present day aspects of the park. As the summer carries on, I hope to be involved in many more programs and events here on the barrier islands, and hope to keep you all informed on new findings.

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