One day last month, Pier staffers volunteering for the Outer Banks Marine Mammal Stranding Network assisted other state agencies to help rescue a dolphin in distress in the Croatan Sound, not too far from Jennette’s.
“It felt good to actually help an animal,” said Pier educator Rachel Potts. “Usually, when we respond to an animal it’s already dead and we are trying to figure out what happened.” When responding, staff also records valuable data and answers questions from the public.
Calls to the stranding network increase this time of year. The Pier team has a truck with equipment staged and ready at all times, and staffers take turns monitoring a hotline cell phone lovingly referred to as the “whale phone.”
With hopes of reducing litter that endangers marine mammals, our Education Department has made huge strides in their plan to enhance recycling.
Thanks to a grant from the N.C. Aquarium Society, they’ve purchased enough bright blue, clearly marked recycling bins to outfit the Pier's entire parking lot.
In addition, the educators are busy transforming short sections of PVC pipe into colorful cigarette receptacles. The butts' last stop is a recycling facility specializing in turning such waste into a variety of useful new products.