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The Outer Banks of North Carolina: From the Estuary to the Ocean

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Find out firsthand about barrier island botany and biology by actively exploring the, salt marsh, maritime forest, pond and beach. Participants will learn geological history and basic ecological concepts. The biological history of the island will be applied to modern day through current event issues such as loss of biodiversity, population growth, climate change, water quality and waste disposal.

Participants will focus on the concept of the sound and salt marsh as the nursery of the ocean, and learn about the adaptations of fish, crabs and various plants that live in the salt marsh. The beach class focuses on barrier island formation and movement, and emphasizes that beach erosion is a natural part of that process. In the maritime forest, participants will learn about the anatomy and adaptations of maritime forest trees, plants that act as medicines, and perhaps have the chance to eat at the Outdoor Café.

These studies involve group work and on-site field studies. Prepare to get wet at the sound and beach, because everyone has the opportunity for a hands-on investigation of the plants and animals. Classes include walks on the beach and primitive nature trails that may be difficult for guests with limited mobility. Golf cart services are available for transportation to study sites.

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