Remembering Eph O'Neal, an old-time Hatteras waterman
Hatteras Island writer and historian, Susan West remembers Ephraim “Eph” O'Neal who died on February 17, 2017.

Ephraim “Eph” O’Neal was a true Hatterasman – a scholar of the sea, humble about his accomplishments, and fiercely proud of his family and his hometown. 
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Wildlife Photo Project Expands Statewide

If you’ve ever wondered exactly what kind of wildlife exists in your backyard, a statewide photography project could help you discover those curious creatures living nearby.

Candid Critters, a collaboration between North Carolina Wildlife Resources, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and North Carolina State University, is hoping to get people more interested in the wildlife around them by providing trail cameras, or camera traps, to help survey wildlife across the state.
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Island Living:  Weird Hatteras Island Old Wives’ Tales (and Husbands’ Tales) that are Actually True

So let’s begin by recognizing that the term “Old Wives Tales” is really annoying.
Because to be honest, the majority of island-related weird stories, terms, and myths that I hear about on a regular basis don’t actually come from old wives. They come from young bucks, or fishermen, or people who are testing my infamous gullible nature.
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Readers Invited to join a book club with Hatteras Island roots

With winter comes a newfound island-wide movement towards the safety and comfort of the couch.

It’s the perfect time to slow down, enjoy an unhurried pace and curl up with a good book.

For those not up on the latest good reads, just turn on the radio. 
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The Night Sky:  Look for Mars and Venus at sunset in February

Mars and Venus will be visible in the SW at sunset for all of February.  Uranus starts the month slightly higher in the skies but you will probably need a good pair of binoculars to see it. Throughout most of the month, it will appear to get closer and closer to Mars.  On the 26th, you might be able to see both planets at the same time. 
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Award-winning social worker learns new lessons as a hurricane survivor herself

Ashley Jackson, a social worker on Hatteras Island with the Dare  County Department of Health & Human Services, was named the Dare County Employee of the Year for 2016 for her continual efforts after Hurricane Matthew – even when her own home was flooded with 10 inches of water.

She was presented the award at the January 3, 2017 meeting of the Dare County Board of Commissioners and was recognized for her outstanding service to those she serves. 
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'Drift' seeds find their way to our beaches from afar

Living on the ocean, we have an extra joy -- it's not just island plants that provide us seeds.  It is the ocean itself.  To obtain these seeds, you walk the beach.  The best place to find these seeds is in the wrack at the high-water mark, where you will see the seaweed or trash that has been deposited after the tides recede. 
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New resource for learning about living shorelines is now online

Restore America’s Estuaries and the North Carolina Coastal Federation have developed a website as a resource where anyone can learn more about living shorelines, get training on how to build them and ask questions of experts in the field.

Living shorelines are an alternative to other, hardened management methods, such as seawalls and bulkheads, which have been shown to cause erosion farther down the shoreline and to disrupt estuarine ecosystems.  Read more  

Cape Hatteras United Methodist Men:  Helping storm victims for the long-term

Hatteras Island is nearing the two-month mark after Hurricane Matthew, and some of the assistance available has started to dwindle – or will be disappearing soon. But even then the Cape Hatteras United Methodist Men will still be hard at work ensuring that local folks can receive the help they need.
“After the storm, we are considered the last resort,” says the group's director Dennis Carroll. “We’re here long-term, so generally we let FEMA, the Salvation Army, and the other agencies come and do their work, and we assist with the urgent situations."  Read more

Study aims to answer question of how much tourism is too much

Imagine data could be plugged into a computer to show exactly how much human presence and interaction the delicate ecology of a popular coastal area could handle before being severely affected.

Would it help with managing national seashores or state parks along the coast? 
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Rolling back the red wolf recovery effort

As the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service’s red wolf recovery program here marked its 25th anniversary in 2012, it was basking in nationwide accolades as a groundbreaking conservation success. Just four years later, it is teetering on the edge of failure, a turn of fate fanned by politics, mistaken identity and public ill will. 
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Conflicts and ill will threaten red wolf recovery

Back in the 1990s and 2000s, photographs of adorable newborn wolf pups that were being introduced to their new, wild mothers filled pages of newspapers and magazines, along with glowing articles about red wolf management successes.

That was before complaints about wolves attacking livestock, family pets and game animals or just lurking around private property became frequent at public meetings, and before some scientific studies stirred doubts about whether red wolves were more coyote than wolf. It was before mailboxes of politicians and bureaucrats were inundated with constituents’ impassioned objections to the wolves. 
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Hatteras couple are recovering from two rounds of soundside flooding -- just weeks apart

Jan Willis has a lot of experience when it comes to hurricanes. She moved to Hatteras Island in the middle of a hurricane in 1971 to be the new kindergarten teacher at the Cape Hatteras School. She also encountered her future husband, Eugene Willis, a Hatteras native, during the same storm soon after she arrived.

Since they settled in their charming Hatteras home in 1988, they have weathered a number of storms, but nothing like the one-two punch they have taken from Hermine and Matthew this fall.
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