Environmental Education (EE)

The North Carolina Maritime Museum is a state museum operating under the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. The educational mission of the museum is to interpret all aspects of the state’s diverse coastal natural history and rich maritime heritage and to address environmental issues and solutions through exhibits, in-house and outreach programs, field trips, and publications.

Programs and Site Features

The North Carolina Maritime Museum environmental education programs serve the general public through tours, programs, field trips, Summer Science School, and special events and are listed in a calendar published quarterly. Environmental education services provided to school, civic, and special needs groups include museum tours, hands-on programs, videos and slide presentations, staff led field trips to local coastal habitats, and programs at the overnight facilities at the museum’s Cape Lookout field station. 

Educational Services

Educational services are offered to school, civic, and special needs groups. They include tours (self-guided and guided), hands-on live animal programs, audio-visual programs, and field trips. Curators give lectures, consult with, and participate in programs offered by the community and schools. Teachers and group leaders should request the Educational Services Guide

The North Carolina Maritime Museum is located just off the Intracoastal Waterway and Interstate 70 on the historic Beaufort waterfront. Nearby natural areas include the Rachel Carson Reserve, Newport River marshes, Fort Macon State Park, Croatan National Forest, Cape Lookout National Seashore, and the nature trail at the Museums’ Gallants Channel Annex.

Public education programs scheduled on the calendar:

  • Beaufort walking tours
  • Bird watching–Coastal North Carolina and beyond
  • Canoeing/Kayaking
  • Cape Lookout National Seashore: Shackleford and Core Banks
  • Croatan National Forest–carnivorous plants, nature trails
  • Fossil Hunting
  • International eco tours
  • Lecture Series on environmental topics
  • Marine Life Collecting Cruise
  • Nature tours of various sites–national forest trails, national wildlife refuges
  • Rachel Carson Reserve
  • Salt Marsh

Staff-led Programs and Field Trips for Schools, Teachers, and Special Interest Groups

In-museum/outreach programs:

  • Live Animal Program
  • Coastal Birds and Their Habitats
  • Marsh Metaphors
  • Insect-Eating Plants
  • Fingerprints of Trees
  • Marine Mammals
  • Sea Turtles
  • Coastal Fossils and Geological History
  • Endangered Species-Endangered habitats
  • Exploring Ecosystems
  • Global Environmental Issues
  • Barrier Island Ecology
  • Mysterious Mushrooms
  • Edible Wild Plants
  • Wildflowers and Carnivorous Plants

Field Trips:

  • Rachel Carson Reserve
  • Salt Marsh
  • Tidal Flat
  • Croatan National Forest
  • Marine Life Collecting Cruise – Trawling and Dredging

Summer Science School for Children (grades 1 – 9) – classes are listed in the annual brochure available each April for summer courses in coastal ecology and maritime topics.

Cape Lookout Studies Program  – environmental education at the museum’s field station at Cape Lookout provides overnight accommodations.

Discovery Carts – informal hands-on discussions.

Discovery Time – One afternoon each week during the summer activities and crafts for children focus on an environmental and cultural theme.

EE Programs and Activities that come to you:

  • Outreach Programs — Schools and special interest groups
  • Teacher Workshops
  • Special event exhibits and activities

EE Opportunities for Teachers:

  • Public calendar programs help teachers reinforce their coastal ecology knowledge
  • Coastal ecology workshops
  • Saltwater aquarium workshops
  • Seafood workshops

EE Publications available through the museum store:

  • A Guide to Ocean Dune Plants
  • A Guide to Salt Marsh Plants
  • Seacoast Life
  • Discover Maritime North Carolina

EE Environmental education booklets for grades K – 10 written by the Carteret County Marine Science Project and available as photocopies (for the cost of the photocopying) from the museum’s education staff:

  • Tidal Flat Town (K-3)
  • Treasure Hunt of the Sound (3-5)
  • Salt Marsh, Sound, and Sea Beach (6-8)
  • Man and the Sea (6)

A Field Approach to Coastal Ecology (9-10)