Wrightsville Beach visitors and residents can learn about local critters and the coastal habitats where they can be found during the weekly Touch Tank Tuesdays with the North Carolina Coastal Federation.
After adjusting the last two summers to COVID-19 precautions, the interactive, educational summer program is back in person at the federation’s Fred and Alice Stanback Coastal Education Center, 309 W. Salisbury St., Wrightsville Beach.
The Coastal Federation, which publishes Coastal Review, has partnered with the Topsail Island-based Ecological Marine Adventures on Touch Tank Tuesdays.
New this year are Spanish-speaking instructors to help lead the programs.
Sessions are offered from 9 a.m. to noon every Tuesday until July 26. Though free to attend, preregistration is required.
Every Tuesday, a variety of coastal plants and animals are collected for the program that day that are later released.
Visitors will have the opportunity to look at organisms under a microscope, participate in creative activities related to the aquatic ecosystems and see the Students Reducing Runoff station sponsored by the Landfall Foundation to learn about watersheds, runoff, and what you can do to protect our precious water quality.
Coastal Educator Bonnie Mitchell is excited to bring this program back again this summer.
“The best part about Touch Tank Tuesday is when the visitors light up as a hermit crab emerges from its shell or when they see a scallop propel itself through the water. I know they are making memories that they will never forget and that their appreciation for what’s in our water is growing,” Mitchell said in a statement. “While the coastal critters certainly offer a lot of excitement, it also gives us a great opportunity to educate on all the ways that we can help their water quality and habitats.”