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Change: A Community Conversation in Conjunction with Rising

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In conjunction with the exhibition Rising: Perspectives of Coastal Change, the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum & Heritage Center is excited to host a Community Conversation to talk about our relationship with place, the role of change in our region, how it impacts our lives today, and if and how those changes will affect our future.

What do our own experiences with erosion, flooding, storms, receding shorelines, and changes in fisheries mean to our communities and our culture? Why do our voices matter and how can our stories provide valuable information to researchers, planners, and community leaders?  

The experiences of Down East are not isolated. We are bound by saltwater connections to neighbors across the sound on Ocracoke and Hatteras Islands and beyond. By sharing with one another our day-to-day observations and identifying changes that we are already seeing, can we better prepare for a more resilient tomorrow and ensure our distinct and enduring heritage will be preserved?  

The day will bring together a host of community members - from fishermen to leaders to scientists — voices from our own Down East communities and friends from Ocracoke, Hatteras, and the Chesapeake Bay to talk with each other about what changes, if any, changes they have observed, if they are impacted by these changes, and what adaptive measures we are taking — from raising homes to building bulkheads.

Conversation Topics & Times

9a-10a     Check-in
Visit with neighbors and experience the RISING exhibition. Partners and agencies will be available to share about their work, projects and resources.

10a           Welcome  from the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum & Heritage Center and Cape Lookout National Park

10:15a       RISING Introduction

10:30a      On the Water — The Fishermen
What are our fishermen seeing? Are the species being caught changing? Are seasons for traditional fisheries shifting? Have fishing grounds been altered? How could changing marshes and estuaries affect fisheries?=

Voices include: Jimmy Johnson, Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Partnership (facilitator); Tyler Chadwick, Chadwick's Seafood; Zach Davis, Shrimper and High School Marine Trades teacher; and, Noah Lynk, Captain, Noah's Ark Fishing Charters. 

11:15a       On the Ground — Community Leaders,  Planners & Resource Managers
What are leaders, planners and resource managers seeing? Are there concerns about incidence of flooding? How has shoreline erosion impacted the community? Is infrastructure in danger? How does a region of constant change impact the planning process? How can we better prepare, respond and adapt for storms? Are adaptive measures necessary?

Voices include: Dr. Jessica Whitehead, NC Sea Grant (facilitator); Ben Cahoon, Town of Nags Head Mayor; Tancred Miller, Coastal and Ocean Policy Manager, NCDEQ-DCM; Greg “Rudi” Rudolph, Shore Protection Manager, Carteret County Shore Protection Office;  and, Heidi Smith, Corporate Communications Manager, Tideland EMC.

12p         Core Sound Lunch

12:30p    Disappearing Islands: A Culture at Risk in the Chesapeake with Tom Horton
How are similar coastal communities experiencing coastal change and what's at stake? Tom Horton, journalist, author and filmmaker, will screen a selection of his film, "High Tide in Dorchester"

1:15p       Shared Experiences, Common Bond: A Community Conversation
Chesapeake Bay residents join North Carolinians from Down East, Hatteras Island and Ocracoke Island to discuss what change has historically meant at life on the water's edge, what modern day change means for the future, and how to best adapt to accelerated erosion, increased incidence of flooding, and how to better prepare and respond to storms.

Voices include: Karen Amspacher and Ryan Stancil (facilitators); Ernie Foster, Hatteras; Missy Evan, Smith Island; Lori Marsh, Dorchester County, MD; Mark Smith, Atlantic. 




Rising is made possible by The Community Collaborative Research Grant, a program of North Carolina Sea Grant in partnership with the William R. Kenan Jr. Institute for Engineering, Technology and Science. North Carolina Sea Grant provides research, education and outreach opportunities relating to current issues affecting the North Carolina coast and its communities. Sea Grant's initiatives and projects touch a broad range of topics, including fisheries, seafood science and technology, water quality, aquaculture, community development, law and policy, and coastal hazards. Learn more about North Carolina Sea Grant at

Additional support has been provided by The Center for the Study of the American South, Southern CulturesFood for AllCoastal Resilience Center, and the UNC Department of American Studies, and the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum & Heritage Center. 




Earlier Event: July 13
Soundside Story Time
Later Event: August 18
Ira Lewis Day