The ECU Outer Banks Campus has two buildings on site- the Research, Education, and Administration Building and the Marine Operations Building. The campus is also home to part of the Roanoke Island Trails.

Research, Education, & Administration Building

The Research, Education, & Administration Building is where many of the day-to-day operations take place. On the first floor is the central lobby and a wave tank for education programs and research testing. The second floor is where most of the education and public programming takes place, while the third floor has a variety of labs and faculty offices. 

In addition to the beautiful views which overlook campus and the sound, the Research, Education, & Administration Building boasts of classrooms and labs with distance education capabilities, a seminar room which can

accommodate up to 100 individuals and an adjacent catering kitchen, a computer teaching lab, and a design lab. Each of these spaces may be available for use to outside organizations provided the entity has a mission that is public service driven and aligns with the mission and non-advocacy standard of CSI.

Marine Operations Building

The Coastal Studies Institute (CSI) maintains a fleet of research vessels and technical equipment for research and education activities in the Outer Banks region, and The Marine Operations Building houses a full dive locker and repair room, as well as all field equipment and vessels. Our fleet includes:

42′ Duffy – “Miss Caroline”
  • Offshore, nearshore and inshore capabilities
  • Draft approximately 4.5′
  • A-frame and hydraulic deck winch, 2000 lb capacity
  • 1000 hp Caterpillar diesel engine, cruise at 17 knots
28.5′ Privateer – “Blackbeard”
  • Offshore, nearshore and inshore capabilities
  • Draft approximately 3′
  • 300 lb capacity davit with electric windlass and manual winch
  • Twin Yamaha 225 hp engines
30′ Sightseer Pontoon – “Discovery”
  • Inshore use only
  • 25 person capacity
  • Twin 90 hp Mercury engines
24′ Carolina Skiff
  • Inshore use only
  • Draft approximately 1.5′
  • Yamaha 150 hp engine with electric jack plate
24′ Bentley Pontoon
  • Inshore use only
  • Yamaha 115 hp engine
12′ Zodiac
  • 30 hp Tohatsu engine
Seadoo Jetski
  • Inshore and nearshore capabilities
  • Beach launchable
Roanoke Island Trails

The Collins Trail, part of the Roanoke Island Trail, has two parts: a short fitness trail alongside the Dare Center Building, and a 2-mile section that weaves through maritime forests and quiet, residential neighborhoods along the Croatan Sound to the Coastal Studies Institute on the ECU Outer Banks Campus. Trail users have the chance to observe a coastal woodland habitat, wide open expanses of marsh, and all kinds of wildlife along its winding path. On campus, the Coastal Studies Institute is currently working to install signs along the path and around campus highlighting native plants and animals, as well as marsh ecology.

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.