Virginia & North Carolina

Last week, we traveled to Nags Head, North Carolina to implement the Responsible Pier Initiative on the first pier in the state.

On our way there, we stopped by the Virginia Aquarium to meet with our partners and check on their progress with the six participating piers in the Virginia Beach area. The Virginia Aquarium’s Marine Animal Care Center currently has 10 pier-hooked Kemp’s ridleys in their care. These turtles were all admitted in the month of May alone. A stack of bins sits next to the facility’s entrance, ready for rescue at any moment. Staff and volunteers are dedicated to spending time on the piers and communicating with managers and fishermen. It was very inspiring to see such great results in such little time.

We led two First Responder workshops in North Carolina – one at the NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island, home to the new Sea Turtle Assistance and Rehabilitation (STAR) Center, and one at Jennette’s Pier. Aquarium and pier staff worked together to discuss ideas for rescue, sea turtle identification, treatment and transport, and data reporting.

The pier, located less than nine miles away from the aquarium and hospital, is home to three wind turbines, a fully functioning classroom, a research lab, aquarium tanks, and so much more. It is one of the most beautiful piers we have ever seen. While walking along the pier, we spoke with many anglers who have been visiting for years. We spotted groups of bottlenose dolphins and cownose rays. We read the educational signage and learned more about the pier’s history. It is an amazing site with such a welcoming team. We are very proud to have Jennette’s Pier on board.

This week, I’m hanging signs on five piers in Texas. Photos from Corpus Christi and Galveston coming soon!

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