The staff of Jennette’s Pier worked hard in 2018 to make sure its visitors had enjoyable visits to this 1,000-foot long ocean fishing platform, which is located in the heart of the Whalebone Junction District of Nags Head.
Now, with 2019 in sight, a number of goals have been set to make the visitor experience even better and more environmentally friendly. Perhaps the most notable upgrades for next year will be in the parking lot.
Thanks to a grant from the N.C. Aquarium Society, clearly marked, bright-blue recycling receptacles will adorn the parking lot next year with hopes that visitors will choose to recycle more glass and plastic bottles and aluminum cans.
More importantly, staff will be attaching cigarette butt recycling tubes to our parking lot light posts to discourage people from contributing to the number one source of litter on our beaches. Jennette’s Pier hopes our guests will opt to recycle them instead of tossing them on the ground. Yes, butts can be transformed into new plastics by TerraCycle.
Building on the successful Aquarium Conservation Partnership campaign from 2018, Jennette’s Pier will again participate in the nation-wide First Step initiative, which challenges folks to go plastic free in 2019. Consider these three things: Skip the Straw, Pass on the Bottle and Bring Your Own Bag.
Scientists now believe plastics can be found in almost every aquatic habitat on Earth. Almost 9 million tons of plastic end up in our oceans, lakes and rivers each year, harming wildlife.
It’s so easy to go without a straw or you can simply get a re-useable one. Same with water bottles, once you get used to using a refillable one, it’s easy to tote along throughout your day, give it a try!
If you’d like to take the First Step challenge, text the word OCEAN to 49767. You’ll get weekly messages about things you can do to help the cause — and be plastic-free.
Jennette’s Pier staff is dedicated more than ever to helping stranded marine mammals. A handful of staff members are trained as first responders and volunteer for the Outer Banks Marine Mammal Stranding Network.
Network volunteers respond to stranded marine mammals, such as dolphins, whales and seals. Unfortunately, most calls to the hotline number are reports of deceased animals. On the rare occasion that an animal can be saved, every effort is made to do that immediately.
When they have expired, data such as species, sex, length and more is collected before the animal is transported to a refrigerated storage facility for more scientific study when possible. Other times, they’re buried in situ. These calls happen year-round.
Calls for seals on the beach mostly happen in the winter. The great thing about seals is typically, they are resting on the beach. But beware of these cute animals; when they’re “hauled out,” it means they’re tired and need rest, so leave them alone. They have sharp teeth, and they will bite. Some also carry diseases.
Just remember: Call the hotline number whenever you see a stranded marine mammal.
- For Currituck, Dare and Hyde county beaches and sounds call (252) 455-9654.
- For the Cape Hatteras National Seashore including Coquina, Oregon Inlet and Hatteras Island beaches and sounds, call (252) 216-6892.
- Don’t push an animal back into the water – it will probably do more harm than good.
Back in the fall, Jennette’s First Response Coordinator for the OBX Marine Mammal Stranding Network, Rachel Potts, went on an important call in the sound near the pier that ended with the rescue of a dolphin whose tail was entangled in commercial fishing gear.
With help from several additional governmental agencies and private boat owners, the crab pot line, traps and buoys were successfully cut away from the animal’s tail a few hours after the call came in.