In 1997 Wings Over Water Wildlife Festival was begun under the direction of then refuge manager, Mike Bryant, as a way to encourage and offer the public wildlife and wildland interpretation and educational opportunities and experiences on regional national wildlife refuges. This annual national wildlife refuge fundraising event has grown from a few offered activities in 1997, to over 90 birding, paddling, photography, art & natural history programs. The festival takes place in 6 national wildlife refuges over 6 northeast North Carolina counties. It is one of the premier east coast wildlife festivals. Locally, many activities take place on National Park Service property, specifically Cape Hatteras National Seashore, one of the Festival partners. What keeps Wings Over Water going year-after-year with a high registrant return rate? Great, knowledgeable activity leaders along with a small ratio of participants-to-leader (so you don’t get lost in the crowd) and of course wonderful wildlife opportunities. Every festival leader is a professional in their own field, volunteering their time, travel and expertise. Wing Over Water leaders come from a wide range of professions & fields such as professors, top birders, well-respected botanists and biologist, authors and award-winning photographers and artists.
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