What’s better than an evening on the water? The Coastal Studies Institute is excited to launch a new series of family programs one evening each month this summer. 

Tailored to elementary and middle school-aged children and their adult(s), Evening in the Estuary will include a boat ride through the Croatan Sound to a marsh island two nautical miles from CSI’s campus. Instructors will lead the public in fun, coastal science-based activities that will have them wading the shallow waters, surveying the sandy shores, and exploring the grassy uplands. Participants of all ages will learn about estuarine biology and ecology, investigate plant and animal adaptations, seine for critters, demonstrate food webs, and more.

These programs will be offered on Thursday, July 27, Thursday, August 24, and Thursday, September 14 from 4-6 PM on the ECU Outer Banks Campus. Spots are limited and available on a first-come, first-serve basis. The program cost is $15 per person. These events are weather dependent. In the event of inclement weather, including thunderstorms and high winds, the programs will not be canceled; instead, family-friendly backup activities of related content will replace the on-the-water program. A bathing suit, towel, and sun protection are recommended for the planned activities. All participants must be wearing closed-toed shoes to participate. Come curious and prepared to be outside, get wet, learn, and have fun!

Registration is now open and will close the day before each program. For more information and any questions, please contact Lauren Kerlin at kerlinl22@ecu.edu or 252-475-5451.

Led by East Carolina University (ECU), The Coastal Studies Institute is a multi-institutional research and educational partnership of the UNC System including North Carolina State University, UNC-Chapel Hill, UNC Wilmington, and Elizabeth City State University.


Based at the Coastal Studies Institute (CSI), the North Carolina Renewable Ocean Energy Program (NCROEP) advances inter-disciplinary marine energy solutions across UNC System partner colleges of engineering at NC State University, UNC Charlotte, and NC A&T University.  Click on the links below for more information.




ECU's Integrated Coastal Programs (ECU ICP) is a leader in coastal and marine research, education, and engagement.   ECU ICP includes the Coastal Studies Institute, ECU's Department of Coastal Studies, and ECU Diving and Water Safety.


The faculty and staff at the Coastal Studies Institute come from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines, as well as departments and organizations including ECU Department of Biology, ECU Department of Coastal Studies, NC Sea Grant, the North Carolina Renewable Energy Program, and the UNC Institute for the Environment.


Tour the ECU Outer Banks Campus and learn about the research, education, and engagement projects of CSI and ECU Integrated Coastal Programs through our 360 virtual tour.


The ECU Outer Banks campus is home to the Coastal Studies Institute.
Located on Roanoke Island along the banks of the second largest estuary
in the United States, this coastal campus spans 213 acres of marshes, scrub wetlands, forested wetlands, and estuarine ecosystems.