Tuesday, September 01, 2009


This morning I received an email with news from the Ocracoke Foundation, a non-profit organization working to promote & protect the traditional fishing industry on the island. I share that news with you:

Friday September 4th, Fish Fry & Exhibit:

4:00 - 7:00 PM at the Fish House -- BBQ Mullet and fried catch of the day.

Also, the winner of the Watermen's Quilt raffle will be drawn at 6:00 PM. Handmade by Ocracoke's Needle and Thread Club, each square depicts something unique about the island's fishing heritage.

6:30 - 8:30 PM After the fish fry, walk over to the Ocracoke Working Watermen's Exhibit on the waterfront at the Community Square. Check out the progress and have dessert!

October 2-4, 2009, Cooking with the Chefs in Morehead City:

Ocracoke Watermen (OWWA) will be preparing fish cakes for the "Cooking with the Chefs" event at the 23rd Annual North Carolina Seafood Festival on the Morehead City Waterfront October 2-4, 2009. This is the second Chef's Event at the Festival and it is designed to promote the benefits of eating and buying local seafood.

On Saturday October 3rd, the Chef's Tent will feature one hour cooking presentations where each chef tells the audience a little about themselves. Last year Rudy Austin, James Barrie Gaskill, Gene Ballance and Jett Carr talked about fishing on Ocracoke, old times, and the present day effort to save the island's last fish house and why it was so important. They served over 100 fish cakes and handed out nearly as many recipe cards.

OWWA will also have an educational booth - their fourth appearance at the festival. NC Sea Grant, who helped Ocracoke Watermen develop the local seafood brand name campaign "Ocracoke Fresh," believe that connecting the consumer with the fisherman is the best way to promote eating local seafood. Tradition, location, non-profit ownership and environmentally responsible fishing methods are great Ocracoke assets that consumers should know about.

Visit OWWA at the Chef's Tent both Saturday and Sunday. Fish Cakes presentation is set for Saturday the 3rd at 6:00PM. www.ncseafoodfestival.org [http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?et=1102687419444&s=177&e=001-XjDzZYTKuvyL1Da2BJ3pPs33Bxy939I0nakRg5AGA9uug0FZ1JrMZvbEc2U6_rD8lXIeoWKR1S3xSHYpVlCZT44zDaa

Oyster Restoration:

Ocracoke is surrounded by historic shallow water oyster reefs, but the excellent qualities of the oysters led to over-harvesting in the last century. Free swimming oyster larvae need to attach themselves to a substrate or "cultch" material, such as clean oyster shells, to grow and develop. Thus, a usual method of reef restoration is to "plant" oyster shells or small pieces of marl rock, to jump start the process.

The Ocracoke Foundation (OFI) is looking forward to getting their long awaited restoration project in gear with a new shallow draft barge. Unlike standard barges, this particular type will be able to access the shallow areas where the historic oyster beds are located. As part of the Fish House Project Grant, OFI received $30,000 from the Golden LEAF Foundation to institute an oyster restoration project. The funds will allow for the purchase of a 12' X 30' barge, motor, trailer, and some oyster cultch materials in addition to the yearly allotment provided to the Ocracoke area by the State of North Carolina. Barge construction is to begin soon, with the first shell plantings taking place next summer.

Island Non-Profit Workshops:

The Ocracoke Foundation has begun planning a series of workshops for island non-profit groups. At least two will be planned for the winter season. Topics that are being requested are:
  • Telling your non-profits story - Utilizing current on-line marketing tools and how to construct a compelling message
  • Basic Need to Know Legal Information for non-profits - responsibilities, changes in non-profit laws
  • Development Workshops - How to facilitate group discussions focused on identifying ways to address organizational and program needs as well as goal achievement
Preliminary information will be gathered from island groups to better focus on specific questions. This program was funded as part of an organizational grant OF received from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a small photo album with historic pictures, including the aftermath of the 1944 hurricane, the 1921 Ghost Ship of the Outer Banks, the 1935 wreck of the Nomis, the Island Inn, the Methodist Church, and the Wahab Village Hotel. I've added a short paragraph under each photo to help put them in historical perspective. You can see the pictures by clicking here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news082609.htm.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous4:01 PM

    Well Philip, I hope that carping poster that gets on a high (sea) Horse and castigates the Fish house people ---- regarding the slow progress on the WM web site that is adrift and under construction as is the oyster bed --- is pleased with this information you are sharing regarding these projects.

    I suppose any organization granted tax exemptions owes it to the tax paying public to be prompt with news or updates regarding their progress on matters that generated a tax exemption.