First Saturday Seminars

First-Saturday Seminars

CFRW hosts a FREE Educational Seminar by a guest lecturer the first Saturday of every month at Cape Fear River Watch Headquarters, located at 617 Surry Street. Seminars cover a diverse variety of topics, including local history, local birds, geology, fisheries, etc. We serve a FREE pancake breakfast at 8am and the seminar starts at 9am.  (But you can always bring a few bucks for the donation jar!)

2016 Schedule

  • February 6th – Our speaker was Chris Fonvielle and his topic was Fort Anderson.
  • March 5th – Andy Gould with NC Aquarium Fort Fisher will be presenting at the March  First Saturday Seminar and his topic will be Frog Watch. (The same day at the Cape Fear Museum he will be offering the full Frog Watch class from 12 to 4pm. Participants who take the full class at the Museum will be certified as volunteers for FrogWatch USA.
  • April 2nd – Join us April 2nd as we welcome Bonnie Monteleone. Her topic is Plastic Ocean Project – Gut Plastic?
    Plastic marine debris has been recently labeled the “apex predator” of the sea, killing more marine life than any other marine organism. Find out how plastic has earned that title and what Plastic Ocean Project, UNCW, and PK Clean Technology are doing about it.
  • May 7th – Our speaker will be Melanie Doyle and her topic will be invasive species.
  • June 4th – Our speaker will be Walker Golder and his topic will be Colonial Nesting Waterbirds.
  • July 2nd – Our speaker is our very own Riverkeeper Kemp Burdette and he will be talking about his 200 mile paddling trip down the Cape Fear River.
  • August 6th – Our speaker will be Roger Shew and his topic is:
    Environmental Treasures and Issues in Southeastern NC
    For each natural treasure (Cape Fear River, Beaches, Ecosystems), there are stressors (water quality and quantity, sea level rise, development) that may impact their quality and benefits to the community. This will be a look at both the beauty and benefits of our natural areas and resources but also some of the issues facing them.
  • September 3rd – Our speaker will be Jill Peleuses and her topic will be Fall Migratory Birds.
  • October 1st –  Our speaker will be Andy Wood and his topic is:Eye of Newt and Wart of Toad: Halloween Icons In Our Backyard.
    This pre-Halloween presentation features real-life icons made famous in poetic recipes for witch’s brews and potions. Join ecologist and educator Andy Wood for a fun exploration of southeastern North Carolina’s beguiling habitats, and the wicked plants and wildlife that haunt them. With photographs from his treks in the wild, and live plants and animals, Andy reveals some of the inspirations behind some childhood Halloween tales, including toxic amphibians, and wasp-eating plants.

    More about Andy Wood
    Author, ecologist, and conservation educator Andy Wood, is a fourth generation biologist and graduate of Texas A&M University. A lifelong educator, Andy joined the modern environmental movement with Earth Day 1970, helping organize and conduct stream cleanups, paper drives, and river monitoring. These formative experiences channeled his conservation career, which includes 12 years as curator of education for the North Carolina Aquariums, 11 years as a state education director for the National Audubon Society, and 28 years as a volunteer nature commentator for Wilmington, NC public radio station WHQR. A collection of his commentaries were published in his first book, Backyard Carolina.

    Andy is Director of COASTAL PLAIN CONSERVATION GROUP, a non-profit organization he cofounded with his son Carson, to protect rare and imperiled habitats and the plants and wildlife they support. Andy is also Project Manager for HABITATS ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES, LLC; a community conservation consulting company providing environmental impact assessment, habitat restoration, and endangered species monitoring.

    Owned and operated with his wife Sandy Wood, HABITATS brings more than 25 years of experience in sustainable landscaping practices that reduce landscape water consumption, chemical use, and improper plant maintenance. With assistance from sons Robin and Carson, HABITATS creates conservation landscapes that reflect the natural character of southeastern North Carolina, which in turn helps birds and butterflies while providing a welcoming sense of place for property residents and guests.

    As an educator, Andy has provided thousands of formal conservation education presentations and reached hundreds of thousands of people to the art and practice of ecology, field biology, and natural resource conservation. As an author, Andy writes magazine articles and website posts, provides information for newspaper, radio and television news stories, and he participates in lectures, festivals, and other outreach events.

    In 1987 Andy co-founded Beach Sweep, North Carolina’s first coast-wide marine debris cleanup campaign, now statewide and called Big Sweep. In 1990, he founded the Earth Day Alliance of the Lower Cape Fear and brought together a diverse coalition of community members to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Earth Day; an initiative that improved lines of communication between local industries, environmental groups, and policy-makers. And in 1992, Andy began a decades-long struggle—essentially single-handedly—to prevent the extinction of two imperiled animals: Greenfield Ramshorn, and Magnificent Ramshorn.

    These charming and salt-intolerant freshwater snails, known only from five small habitats within the lower Cape Fear River basin, are now likely absent in the wild due to river-caused saltwater intrusion. The last living members of both species remain in Andy’s captive care, awaiting some meaningful protection for their future habitats, somewhere above an inexorably rising sea.

    This to say, Andy leads conservation work by example, with help from his family, across the North Carolina coastal plain and beyond.

  • November 5th – Jill Peleuses will join us again to discuss winter birds.
  • December 3rd -Our speaker is Dawn York and her topic will be: Restoring Migratory Fish in the Cape Fear River – Persistence is Key


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