Alligator River/Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge
P. O. Box 1969
Manteo, North Carolina 27954

Contact: Bonnie Strawser - 252-473-1131

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News Release

May 27, 2010

Looking for Adventure? Head South On NC 12 to Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge

Summer on the Outer Banks brings many opportunities for visitors and local residents to explore the natural world. Toss in the word “Free”, and the adventures sound even more inviting! Regular weekly programs on Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge begin the first week in June. If you are interested in learning about turtles of the sea and land, stop by the Visitor Center porch on Tuesdays for our Turtle Talk program. Not only will you learn about how you can help the sea turtles, you will also be able to make a craft to take home. On Wednesdays, learn about the adaptations birds need in order to survive in various habitats during our Bird Adaptations program. After the program, which is also held on the Visitor Center porch, try your hand at building your own bird using various bird parts and see who can build the bird with the best survival skills. Our perennial favorite, Soundside Adventure, is offered on Thursdays at New Inlet. Try your hand at pulling a seine net to see what juvenile critters call Pamlico Sound home. Get your feet wet! See the difference between a Channel Whelk and a Lightening Whelk. See what kinds of shells many of your favorite seafood delicacies live in. The above programs run from 2:30 to 3:30. In addition, we offer Bird Walks on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, beginning at 8:00. These walks are appropriate for beginning birders, as well as more experienced. Meet at the Pea Island Visitor Center; the programs last approximately 1.5 hours.

For a reasonable fee, our guided canoe tours offer another way to get off the highway and uncover many mysteries of the area. Family canoe tours are offered on Wednesdays and Fridays from 10:00 AM to noon. This short tour of the canals and islands off New Inlet is a great way for families and others to get their feet wet while exploring the habitat. Step outside the canoe into the shallow waters near one of the islands and learn about the islands and the critters that live there. Taste the Sea Oxeye Daisy and Saltwort to understand how early Americans may have seasoned their seafood. Watch as the stingrays and skates float underneath your canoe. As you paddle through the waters, you will often be entertained by a variety of birds and other critters. General canoe tours are offered on Thursdays from 9:00 to noon. Although similar to the Family Canoe Tour, the extended time on the water is more suited for adults. Depending on the wind and tide, the General Canoe Tour may be considered moderate to strenuous. All canoe tours require reservations. Cost for the Family Canoe Tour is $25 per adult and $15 per child 11 and younger. The General Canoe Tour is $35 per adult and $20 per child 11 and younger. For canoe tour reservations or general program information, call Cindy Heffley at 252-475-4180 or visit our website at

Turtle Talk
Intern Will Thompson explains the difference between sea and land turtles to visitors during last summer’s program. Photo Credit: Cindy Heffley, USFWS.

2009 Summer Intern Jared Strawderman assists canoe program participants setting out for adventure at New Inlet. Photo Credit: Cindy Heffley, USFWS.