Thursday, April 18, 2013

NCCAT Seminars

Yesterday morning I joined several other islanders and visitors to hear Alton Ballance's presentation, Sea, Sand, and Human Hands, the Changing Face of the Outer Banks, at the NCCAT center. Alton is an Ocracoke Island native and senior fellow at NCCAT (North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching).

Alton first took us up into the cupola of the Center (the former US Coast Guard Station) where we had a commanding view of Ocracoke Village, Pamlico Sound, Ocracoke Inlet, and Portsmouth Island. Then we proceeded to the conference room where Alton spoke about Outer Banks geology and shared photos from a Power Point presentation.

Alton's talk was informative and quite interesting. Among other things, I learned why Ocracoke Inlet is so stable (it is the only Outer Banks inlet that has been continuously open since Europeans have been keeping records). Ocracoke Inlet is actually an extension of the Pamlico River system.

NASA Image of the Outer Banks
Postprocessing by

The Pamlico River empties into Pamlico Sound (just below center in the above image). Following a gently curving arc its flow eventually arrives at Ocracoke Inlet.

As Alton reminded us, the dynamic nature of the North Carolina coast ensures that "human hands" will be struggling with the "changing face of the Outer Banks" for quite some time.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a video of Philip Howard telling the story of the 1861 wreck of the Black Squall. You can watch it here:

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous3:57 PM

    Interesting observation, Philip. Always something new to learn about Ocracoke--even for you. ;-)

    Thanks, as always, for sharing your insights with us.