Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Aquarium Offers Canoeing Opportunities

Spend summer on the water with the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher. The Aquarium offers a canoeing program that takes participants on a three-hour exploration of the Zeke’s Island Estuarine Research Reserve, considered to be one of the most unusual areas of the North Carolina coasts. The trip includes an almost one mile paddle across the basin to Zeke’s Island. Common animals seen while touring the salt marsh include pelicans, seagulls, egrets, herons, ibis, sea turtles, and dolphins.

After arriving on the island, participants search for blue crabs, small fish, and invertebrates using crab rigs and dip nets, and also learn how to use cast and seine nets to catch fish. Throughout the journey, information on the history and maritime culture of this breathtaking area is described by the instructors.

Zeke’s Island is located in Brunswick and New Hanover Counties and is one of three main islands that make up the North Carolina Reserve. The island is only accessible by small boats, canoes, and kayaks.

Participants should be able to swim and be capable of sustained physical exertion. The program is for ages 8 and up. Ages 8-12 must be accompanied by two adults. The fee is $25.00 per participant. Admission to the Aquarium is not included. Pre-registration is required. Upcoming canoeing classes are Sunday, July 5, 2009 at 2:00 pm, Saturday, July 11, 2009 at 9:00 am and Sunday, July 19, 2009 at 2:00 pm.

For more information about this program or other summer programs, call 910-458-7468 or visit www.ncaquariums.com/fort-fisher.

NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher is located just south of Kure Beach, near the mouth of the Cape Fear River, on US 421. The site is less than a mile from the Fort Fisher ferry terminal. Hours: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm daily (closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day). Admission: $8 adults; $7 seniors; $6 ages 6-17. Free admission for: children under 6; registered groups of N.C. school children, and NC Aquarium Society members. General information: www.ncaquariums.com.

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