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.

Thankful on the Outer Banks

Sunlight filtering through the canopy along the Maritime Forest Trail in the Currituck Estuarine Banks.
Sunlight filtering through the canopy along the Maritime Forest Trail in the Currituck Estuarine Banks.

It’s Thanksgiving on the Outer Banks. Like most places there is a tendency to take those things we see in our everyday lives for granted and never stop to give thanks for them.

That’s one of great things about Thanksgiving—it’s a day to reflect on those things we should be thankful for. The holiday has become more than that, of course. It’s a day of family and gatherings—something our Joe Lamb Jr., & Associates homeowners seem to truly enjoy as many of them come to the Outer Banks to celebrate the holiday.

Things to Be Thankful for

But the essence of the holiday is to give thanks and to remember those things we are thankful for. That list is invariably personal.

There are certain things that almost any list will have on it—family and friends are make most of the lists. As does love of country.

Many of the things we are thankful for are a reflection of where we live.

Living on the Outer Banks it would be hard to not be thankful for the beauty of our surroundings. It is a complex and fragile environment, yet within that delicate and complex system there are moments and places of transcendent beauty, and that is something to be profoundly thankful for.

There is a moment when the sun rises above the Atlantic Ocean or sets behind the sounds when the sky is filled with so many colors and so many textures that neither camera nor words can truly capture what is seen. It is rare, but it is something to treasure.

There is  on the Outer Banks a world away from the beach that has a power and beauty that can easily be overlooked. The sunlight filtering through the canopy of a maritime forest creates a subtle light show, a delicate dance of color and shade. Each of the maritime forests has its own characteristic, it’s own quality of light.

It is, of course, typical of us to praise the wonder and virtues of the place we live, yet that beauty that creates a sense of gratitude may be why people enjoy the Outer Banks as much as they do. And if that is the case, we should not be taking that for granted and should thankful for the beauty that surround us.

Outer Banks Humpback Whale Highway

Humpback Whale migration patterns. Note how close to the Outer Banks the whales come.
Humpback Whale migration patterns. Note how close to the Outer Banks the whales come.

Sticking out into the Atlantic Ocean the way the Outer Banks does, there is a sense that nature is passing right by our doorstep. This winter we seem to be getting an amazing sample of the wonders of the sea.

Humpback whales have always migrated past the Outer Banks, and there have been a couple of sightings this winter. The whales are headed for the Caribbean where they mate, give birth and nurse the calves. Not all in the same year; the humpback whale gestation period is 11 months.

Interestingly when they get to the Caribbean, the whales eat little if anything, living off their blubber.

As they pass North Carolina, they do feed. They are filter feeders, meaning they have baleen instead of teeth. Most of their food is plankton and krill, but unlike any other members of the whale baleen family, they do eat small fish, consuming about one to two tons daily.

The populations of humpbacks have been recovering. At one time the Maine group had less than 500 whales. Estimates now put the population at 900-1000.

Because they pass so close to the Outer Banks as they migrate—north and south—we do, from time to time have a whale wash up on our beaches, and that just happened in Southern Shores.

This particular whale is probably a juvenile. It’s reported to be 30’ long and adults are between 40-60’.

The whale will be examined to see if the cause of death can be determined.

Over the past 20 year there have been more whales washing up on Outer Banks beaches than in the past. It’s still a very rare occurrence—five or six time a year. But that is still more frequent than was recorded in the 1970s and 1980s. That is for all species of whales, since there are other types of whales that pass by the Outer Banks.

There are a number of theories about what is causing the increase. A rebound in whale populations is probably a part of that, but there may be environmental factors as well, although to date, nothing has been established.

Mother’s Day 2016-An OBX Delight

The Kitty Hawk Beach on Mother's Day 2016.
The Kitty Hawk Beach on Mother’s Day 2016.

Since it first became an official holiday in 1914, Mother’s Day has really focused on two themes—mothers and family. The Outer Banks seems to represent the best part of both of those.

That was on full display today along the beach. Families of every sort were enjoying an absolutely beautiful spring day—the temperature was in the low 80s, the breeze from the south around 10-12 mph, the sun was bright without a cloud in front of it . . . even the Atlantic Ocean, it seems, cooperated and kept the temperature in the surf tolerable.

(That can be a rare occurrence—springtime water temperatures are typically in the 50s.)

It is wonderful to be on the beach and hear kids laughing—ok, squealing—in delight. Fathers, in an image that seems to be a picture from time immemorial, walk into the surf holding the had of a two or three-year-old.

it was interesting; looking north along the beach in Kitty Hawk to Pelican’s Perch—that’s the pink house that’s the last home still standing east of the Beach Road in that area—there were kids playing on the beach, dads with their children and a long row of mothers sitting in beach chairs and towels relaxing.

A fitting way to spend Mother’s Day.