Eco-Tourism on the Outer Banks: How to Help Keep the Outer Banks Clean

sand, wooden stairs, railings, atlantic ocean, waves, blue skies, sand dunes, boat in distance, soft clouds in sky

A Joe Lamb Jr. Blog Series –

Eco-Tourism is in full swing on the Outer Banks and every visitor plays a part in keeping our beaches & waterways pristine for all. We here at Joe Lamb Jr wanted to share a new blog series with some simple tips, ideas, & educational offerings that you and your family can implement & enjoy on your next visit. Staying in one of our oceanfront vacation rentals will allow you and your family to enjoy some of the best uninterrupted coastal views that the Atlantic Ocean can offer. If clean wide open beaches are for you then let’s get started! 

Keeping our Beaches Clean

You’ll notice one of the beautiful things about the Outer Banks is how clean the ocean is, the sound, and our beaches. We take pride in not only keeping the wildlife safe but also our guests as well. We have come up with a few ways that you and your family can help fight to keep the OBX clean for all.

reusable coral bag, white water bottle, white brick wall in background, silver and black tumbler, white countertop
  • Switch to Reusable Straws – You’ll notice that many local restaurants have done away with plastic straws & switched over to recyclable paper straws here on the Outer Banks. If you don’t care for the paper straws, be sure to pack some reusable straws that you can wash and reuse for your whole trip.
  • Bring Reusable Cups – Another big thing that we have done is discontinue using disposable cups so be sure to pack your favorite reusable tumblers with you. Not only can many of the metal tumblers keep your drinks warm, but they can also help keep your drinks cool too in the hot summer sun.
  • Use Recyclable or Reusable Bags – Bringing with you either a recyclable or reusable bag for your shopping needs is excellent. Many of the grocery stores here on the OBX will give you a discount if you shop using your bags. Let’s help keep our environment and sea life safe by not using plastic bags.
  • Carry In / Carry Out Rules – You’ll notice that when you step onto the sand from your oceanfront vacation rental that there should be no trash. Unlike other beaches around the world, the OBX takes pride in our clean beaches. After your day on the beach, be sure to clean up your things and throw the trash away. It only takes a few minutes to pick up a little trash and leave the beach the way you .

 Reduce, Reuse & Recycle

As many of our children go to school, they may have learned this helpful reminder phrase – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. As mentioned above, reducing the number of plastics you use while on vacation and reusing those items is a great first step to keeping the Outer Banks clean. 

Let’s talk about recycling for a bit. We at Joe Lamb Jr are a part of the Women’s Club here on the OBX as Mrs. Lamb is a founding member. Through this community connection we have partnered with NexTrex to help with plastic bag recycling.  

Our goal is to collect 480+lbs (about 40,500) of plastic bags to have those bags recycled into a high-performance composite community bench!  If you would like to help us reach this goal and be part of the plastic bag recycling effort along our coastline bags be dropped off at three different locations in our area.

map showing three drop off locations for recycling, Dare County Baum Center, Outer Banks Family YMCA & Joe Lamb Jr & Associates on map of the Outer Banks, NC
  • Joe Lamb Jr. & Associates 
  • YMCA
  • Baum Center – Day Programs for Adults

While there are many other ways that you and your family can help protect our beaches, ocean waters, sea life, and wildlife safe from trash, we wanted to share these with you. If you don’t have your next vacation planned to stay with us later this year, look at our OBX vacation rentals today. We hope that you will follow along with us over the next few months on more of the Eco-Tourism on the Outer Banks and how you can help too!

Joe Lamb Jr. & Associates is one of the most trusted vacation rental managers in the local area by growing into a market leader in the Vacation Rental and Sales Industry. Joe Lamb Jr. and his family have played a vital and intricate role in the Outer Banks Community for decades. 

Over the past 50+ years, Joe Lamb Jr. & Associates have worked diligently to help promote the Outer Banks for the amazing beach and family vacation destination that it is, helping to increase tourism in the area and grow our beautiful community.

Types of Fishing In The OBX

A Joe Lamb Jr. Blog Series –

Welcome to our blog series on everything fishing in the Outer Banks. For the next few months, we will explore types of fishing, different species of fish, popular fishing holes, and much more. So all of you outdoor junkies make sure you check back every month to see what’s new in the world of OBX fishing!

Numerous fish species thrive where two major currents intersect. In reality, the waters surrounding the Outer Banks of North Carolina are one of the world’s richest fishing areas.

With infinite options for all types of recreational fishing, it’s no surprise that these magnificent barrier islands are regarded as a fisherman’s heaven on earth.

Are you a weekend traveler planning memories to last a lifetime and ever wondered “What types of fishing can be done in the OBX?” when visiting the Outer Banks of North Carolina?

You are not alone!

There are plenty of ways to fish here on the Outer Banks. This blog post will guide and educate you on the 4 most popular types of fishing in the OBX.

Beach Fishing

Grandfather and grandson fishing on beach

Fun In The Sand

If you do not have a boat or even a kayak, don’t stress. Simply go out the door of your oceanfront vacation rental and cast your line from the sand.

Beach fishing is free along the Outer Banks’ more than 100 miles of lovely, sandy shoreline. A fishing license, a surf rod, bait, a tackle box, and a cooler to hold frozen bait and freshly caught fish are all you’ll need to get started reeling them in! A rod holder, beach chair, and fishing cart are all good choices to bring with you too. 

Online, at any NC Division of Marine Fisheries office, and many local tackle shops, fishing licenses are available. A 10-day Coastal Recreational Fishing License, which covers most OBX fishing for ages 16 and up, costs $5 (for NC residents) and $10 (for non-residents). (Children under the age of 16 are exempt.)

Even if you’re an experienced angler, you’ll enjoy the challenging excitement of catching surf fish. So many different types of species may be caught depending on the season and weather.

Do you intend to keep your catch? 

Keep in mind the official restrictions. Some species are entirely unrestricted, allowing you to retain as many as you like, no matter the size. Other species, on the other hand, are closely regulated. 

Sound Fishing

A man standing in the reeds fishing in the sound

On A Dock, In The Reeds Or Floating On A Craft

The Outer Banks of North Carolina offer more than just saltwater fishing. To the west, these islands are surrounded by an intricate network of sounds, canals, and inlets where freshwater (from inland rivers) meets salt water (from the Atlantic) to create a brackish blend.

We have rental units that are really close to some amazing sound side spots. You will not have to battle a ton of crowds to get to them either!

These brackish waters provide plenty of attractive food for baitfish thanks to grasses, marshes, and lush flora. Those baitfish, in turn, attract larger game fish that are hungry. As a result, a rich and fertile fishing area has emerged.

Sound fishing is also a great way to use a Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP) or kayak to help you get into the unreachable nooks where fish like to hide. 

Both SUP boards and kayaks have their perks. There’s nothing more freeing than getting out on a board and reeling in a monster, and nothing more thrilling than attempting to stay steady while doing so. On the other hand, Kayaks are a far more versatile all-arounder that can get you to locations where a board simply isn’t safe.

It all comes down to your fishing style, physical ability, and personal preference at the end of the day. SUP angling is a lot of fun if you’re fishing calm waters and enjoy a challenge. A kayak would be a better option if you want to pack more gear and don’t want to stand all day. Whichever option you choose, one thing is certain: you will have a great time sound fishing here in the OBX!

Pier Fishing

OBX pier at night

Access To Bigger Fish

Are you ready to explore a little further from the coast but not too far offshore? Fish from one of the Outer Banks’ legendary ocean piers, which may be found just a few blocks away from our vacation rentals in Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head, Kitty Hawk, and Hatteras Island (Avon and Rodanthe). You won’t need to get individual licenses because blanket licenses cover all piers. You will, however, have to pay a small pier-fishing fee.

If you prefer, bring your own rod and reel. Alternatively, you can usually rent your gear from any pier-side bait-and-tackle shop.

It’s easy to get started. Simply choose a location and cast your line for some truly awesome saltwater species.

Early morning or sunset are, in general, the greatest times to fish from a pier. Moving tides draw a large number of baitfish to the area, which draws the huge and ravenous of the fish kingdom as well.

Pier fishing in the Outer Banks is easy to do, inexpensive, and most importantly, enjoyable. Fishing from a pier is a dream come true, with plenty of fish to catch and a slew of like-minded fishermen to keep you company.

Charters / Fishing Excursions

A rack of fishing rods on a charter boat

Dream, explore, and discover culture & tourism on a big boat!

Ready to catch a few large fish farther away from the comforts of your vacation rental on the Outer Banks of North Carolina? Book an offshore fishing trip. These trips can be a little more pricey, but they may be shared among friends and family so it would be worth looking into how many people can come with you on the boat.

The average excursion lasts a full day. You’ll board a specially prepared boat with a seasoned captain and crew and go to the Gulf Stream, where enormous sportfish species thrive. Most charters include bait, equipment, and ice, as well as any necessary information and help. Children are usually allowed on board, allowing the complete family to join in the wonderful event.

Each charter fishing adventure is unique, which adds to the thrill. You must also approach it with an open mind. Don’t get your hopes up by having unrealistic expectations about what you want to capture. There isn’t a tour that isn’t different from the last. Some days are better for catching fish than others, and occasionally the weather just won’t cooperate despite your best efforts. 

Culture chasers and bucket listers alike who enjoy charter fishing will undoubtedly be an experience you will not soon forget, whether it is a good or bad day. It always helps to be open-minded and ready for whatever the day throws at you, whether it’s your first or fiftieth excursion deep sea fishing in the OBX.

More To Come …

Make sure to follow this blog for more great fishing-related topics in our series over the next few months! We will be covering what types of fish you can catch in the Outer Banks next month, and we will help you discover some great local spots to cast from in the month after. In the meantime check out some other super fun things to do and until next time, we wish you tight lines!

Joe Lamb Jr. & Associates is one of the most trusted vacation rental managers in the local area by growing into a market leader in the Vacation Rental and Sales Industry. Joe Lamb Jr. and his family have played a vital and intricate role in the Outer Banks Community for decades. 

Over the past 50+ years, Joe Lamb Jr. & Associates have worked diligently to help promote the Outer Banks for the amazing beach and family vacation destination that it is, helping to increase tourism in the area and grow our beautiful community.

A Guide: Shell Hunting On Your Next Outer Banks Vacation

Do you and your family find yourselves walking along the shoreline of the OBX hunting for shells to take home? If the answer is yes, then allow us with Joe Lamb Jr. & Associates to share some of the seashells you may find along our beaches. Staying in one of our Oceanfront vacation rentals will allow your family to be close to the sand and the water. Let’s take a peek at what seashells you may find while you’re on vacation here on the OBX.

Scotch Bonnets

Did you know that each state that borders either the Atlantic Ocean or the Pacific Ocean has an official seashell? North Carolina’s official seashell is the Scotch Bonnet. These shells are harder to spot on the OBX, and it’s a treat when you do find them. Scotch Bonnets are about 1 ½ – 4 inches long with around 20 spiral grooves. They are brown and white, and they often resemble a bonnet or cap worn by the Scottish.  

Atlantic Giant Cockles

Atlantic Giant Cockles are like the Atlantic Cockles you often find on the beach but just a little bigger. The shells are easy to find as they look like a heart and come in various colors and shapes. Bring them home with you on your next vacation or use them to decorate sandcastles.

Coquina Shells

Coquina Shells are actual clams, and they are the most common you’ll find on the beach. They are small shells about an inch long, and you’ll find them in different colors. Often, you’ll find the shells are still alive by the water as they burrow themselves back into the sand.


Whelks are another shell you’ll find on the east coast, especially here on the Outer Banks. Many people who see these shells will often get mixed up as conch shells as they look similar. Whelk shells come in many different sizes and different colors. There are also various species of whelks such as Knobbed Whelks, Lightning Whelks, and Channeled Whelks. All the whelks will make beautiful shells to add to your collection at home.

Shark Eye Shells

Have you ever found a shell that looks like something is looking at you? Those ones our friends, are known as Shark Eyes or Atlantic Moon Snails. You can spot them along the sand and shoreline as they have large bodies with an inward spiral that will form the “eye.” The eyes come in many different colors, such as purple, blue, and orange. See if you can “spot” one before it “spots” you!

Sand Dollars

Sand Dollars are another fun shell that you may find on the Outer Banks. These are often found by the shore, and they are white or tan. If you happen to find one alive, it will be brown, and please leave it be. Sand Dollars are about 1 – 4 inches in diameter, and they are very delicate. So be sure if you find one or two, just be careful with them as you travel home.


Did you know that not only does lightning hit the water, but it can also hit the sand? When this occurrence happens, it will form what’s known as Fulgurite. Many people who have seen a popular early 2000’s movie think that when the lightning strikes, it will create glass, but that’s not the case. Instead, it will look more like rocky tubes, commonly in small pieces. Each piece of Fulgurite is unique as lightning doesn’t always look the same when it hits the sand.

Sea Glass

Sea Glass on the OBX is another excellent find and often is one of the best finds for many beachgoers. They are bits of broken glass from bottles, shipwrecks, and tableware that have been weathered down from rolling on the ocean floor & the saltwater. Sea Glass is found on any beach you may visit, but it’s always a treat to see it along our coast. You’ll find it in different colors such as blue, green, brown, and white. Every once in a while you may find red & pink sea glass along the shoreline and if you do, they are the most desirable to have in your collection. 


Scallops are another great find on the Outer Banks as they are often easy to spot. They do come in various sizes, and the coloring on them makes it easy to spot them too! Many will think that when they find them, they are cockles. Rest assured that you’ll want to add them to your collection when you see them, as they come in many different colors and often have a pretty pink and red in the coloring to them.

Many other shells can be found along our shoreline, but a few other finds we wanted to mention to round out your collection are Ocean Quahogs, Atlantic Surf Clams, Mussels, Oysters, and Driftwood. For our guests to find these shells, some great local organizations help keep our beaches clean. Some of those organizations are the NC Sea Grant and Surfrider Foundation. Another great thing that you can do while on your vacation to help keep our beaches clean is to do a little cleanup. If you happen to find trash while you’re hunting for shells, pick it up and place it into a bag and then toss it in a trash can. This can help you and your family enjoy the beaches and keep the sea turtles and other sea life safe.

We at Joe Lamb Jr. & Associates look forward to seeing you and your family as you vacation in one of our Outer Banks vacation rentals. On your next stay, take pictures of those shells that you found, and we’d love to see them!

Joe Lamb Jr. & Associates is one of the most trusted vacation rental managers in the local area by growing into a market leader in the Vacation Rental and Sales Industry. Joe Lamb Jr. and his family have played a vital and intricate role in the Outer Banks Community for decades.

Over the past 50+ years, Joe Lamb Jr. & Associates have worked diligently to help promote the Outer Banks for the amazing beach and family vacation destination that it is, helping to increase tourism in the area and grow our beautiful community.