Although “going green” trends surfaced years ago, staff at Jennette’s Pier continues to take strides to educate the public about conservation. In addition, our Green Team initiatives include monthly beach sweeps for litter, stepped-up recycling efforts and educating anglers about fisheries sustainability including catch and release fishing.
Another staff project includes assisting the Outer Banks Marine Mammal Stranding Network. A handful of pier workers take turns monitoring the stranding hotline or “whale phone,” as it’s become known.
And this time of year, whales and dolphins do occasionally strand on Dare County beaches. When this happens, most of the time these marine mammals are diseased, sick and dying.
Stranding teams respond to the scene to help educate concerned on-lookers about these events and why this happens. Basic data is also collected; length, sex and species identification are taken. In some cases, the animal’s body is kept so scientists can study the biology of marine mammals that call the Outer Banks home.
In one case, a Gervais’ beaked whale that stranded in Salvo on Hatteras Island in July 2012, was saved and its skeleton was rearticulated by Keith Rittmaster, curator of Natural Sciences, N.C. Maritime Museum in Beaufort. The display was installed as a new exhibit at Jennette’s Pier in November 2017.
In addition, the museum hosts an annual whale symposium on Friday, April 4.