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

November 5, 2012

Wings Over Water Going Strong; Flexing Due to Sandy Impacts

Wings Over Water Wildlife Festival explores the wild side of eastern North Carolina even after a hurricane. The six-day event set for Nov. 6-11 has a wide array of program offerings, however, due to Hurricane Sandy, some program locations have changed. 
Programs originally scheduled for Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge have been shifted to other locations north of Oregon Inlet due to road problems caused by the storm. Those who have registered for programs on Hatteras Island have been notified to take the ferry from Stumpy Point, the day before their scheduled activity. There is information about accommodations available on the Wings Over Water website at
Don't let the "wings" in the title confuse you! There is an assortment of program offerings to appeal to a wide range of interests including history enthusiasts, nature lovers, birders, paddlers, astronomers and photographers, both novice and skilled. 

The region offers some of the country's best paddling for canoe and kayak enthusiasts. From tannin-fed cypress swamps to endless marsh mazes, it is possible to paddle the region for a lifetime yet still study charts at night, discovering unexplored areas.

Registration currently is open for an assortment of water trips escorted by leaders who are familiar with the various areas. Physical demands range from open water with wind exposure, to short distances with excellent wind protection.

Several different paddling trips are planned and include the Kitty Hawk Bay Sunset Kayak Tour that allows participants to enjoy a classic Carolina sunset over the bay while navigating through tall cord grass fields and listening for the mysterious sounds of the night marsh.

The Backcountry Expedition combines "off-road" four-wheel-drive eco-tour that explores 30 miles of beach while trained naturalists discuss the local ecology, history and shorelife. Participants will likely see some of the wild horses in the Spanish Mustang Reserve. 

Alligator River Night Canoe Tour allows canoeists to explore the narrow, winding creek through the heart of Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. Explore the world of the American Alligator while paddling out from Buffalo City into Milltail Creek. Bring a flashlight! 
This year's keynote dinner to be held on Saturday, Nov. 10, will be at the Aquarium on Roanoake Island. Catered by Kelly's Restaurant, the keynote address will be presented by author and photographer John Sill. The cost of the keynote dinner is $35 and registration is required. Dinner includes beer, wine and non-alcohol beverages. 
And the night before on Friday, Nov. 9, eat a down-home-barbeque-style dinner at the new National Wildlife Refuges Gateway Visitor Center and see what the facility has to offer. Cost is just $15 and registration is required.

This festival is traditionally set during the shoulder season when rates are lower for accommodations, traffic is light and the weather is mild. And local participants always are welcome.

To learn more about the Wings Over Water Wildlife Festival call 252-216-9464 or go to
Sponsored by the Coastal Wildlife Refuge Society, Outer Banks Sentinel, Carolina Bird Club and the US Fish and Wildlife Service. 

For those who wonder where Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge gets its name, look no further than a canal along US 64. The refuge also is home to the largest concentration of black bears on the East Coast.