About Us

About Us

Storm Surge Protectors and Oyster Spat Monitoring are Citizen Science projects run by the Coastal Resiliency Ambassador at UNCW MarineQuest. Both projects are open to the general public and do not require a science background.

The Storm Surge Protectors (SSP) project aims to help determine the ecological condition of coastal wetlands in New Hanover County, North Carolina. Community citizen scientists will collect observational data through ongoing vegetation monitoring at different wetland locations. UNCW MarineQuest will use the data collected by Storm Surge Protectors to make future recommendations for potential restoration sites and build environmental education materials demonstrating the connection between a healthy coastal wetland and a storm-resilient coast.

The Statewide Oyster Spat Monitoring (OSM) project is a volunteer‐based environmental monitoring project established by the UNCW Benthic Ecology Laboratory in 2007. The objective of this project is to collect oyster larvae settlement data throughout coastal NC. This data will be used to inform scientific research and restoration efforts of this very important species.

Interested volunteers can attend workshops or contact the Coastal Resiliency Ambassador ( and learn how to get involved!

PXL_20210515_151505980.jpgRiley Lewis, AmeriCorps Coastal Resiliency Ambassador

This year’s Coastal Resiliency Ambassador, Riley, comes to us from Annapolis Maryland. She received her B.S. in Marine Science from the University of South Carolina and her M.S. in Coastal and Ocean Policy from UNC Wilmington. She has a variety of experience in environmental education, sustainability, and science policy throughout the Carolinas and she loves any opportunity to work with kids. Riley is very excited to be a Resiliency Corps member this year so she can continue to give back to her community and inspire resiliency.