Estuarium Dives into the Necessity of Water

A group from the Smithsonian exhibition “Water / Ways”. The show is on display at the North Carolina Estuarium in Washington until November 29. Photo: Russ Chesson / NC Estuarium

Although the COVID-19 epidemic has had a profound effect on the performance of museums, many, including the North Carolina Estuarium in Washington, are finding ways to continue educating the public.

Estuarium, a nature reserve at 223 E. Water St., is a non-profit organization run by the Partnership for the Sounds and offers opportunities for “Exploring nature, history, and art in a fun, family-friendly place along the Pamlico-Tar River,” within the Internal Banks. ”

In line with the topic of water research, the Water / Ways flow show, which opened on October 16 and ends on November 29, looks at how water affects American culture.

The Estuarium is one of six rural areas selected to host the Smithsonian’s Water / Ways exhibition through its Museum on Main Street.

“It went very well, apart from the obvious difficulties in dealing with children,” Russ Chesson told Coastal Review Online of the opening weeks during the COVID-19 epidemic. Chesson is an expert and programmer at Estuarium.

“Some of the big things we did big things have to be removed or replaced and we can’t use the space to the fullest,” Chesson said. “We are fortunate that we have been wanting to open our museum for the first time in a few months and we have the gift of hospitality and social programs. as best he can. “

Water / Ways, a stand-alone list, is part of the Smithsonian Smith Water Initiative to raise awareness of water as a priority in life through exhibitions, education and government programs. People can take part in live chat with the #thinkWater hashtag.

The exhibition not only looks at how water flows, how it affects the environment, stability and migration, and how it affects social and spiritual, as well as how politics and economics have long been affected by access to water and improved water resources.

Enjoy a winter paddle at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. USEPA photo courtesy of Eric Vance’s show

The North Carolina Humanities Council helped bring the demonstration to the state.

“We are proud to bring another Museum on the Main Street Smithsonian exhibition in North Carolina,” said Sherry Paula Watkins, executive director of the North Carolina Humanities Council.

“Since 2010, the council has hosted four Smithsonia international exhibitions in 24 small town museums, libraries and state-of-the-art sites,” he said. “This project is an example of what can be done in partnership with the combined reputation of the Smithsonian Institution, decades of academic excellence at the North Carolina Humanities Council and special histories in our North Carolina towns.”

The Water / Ways tour began their May tour in Burnsville in Yancey County, and then traveled to Franklin and Wake Forest before arriving in Washington this month. The exhibition will take place at the Wrightsville Beach Museum from December 4 to January 18, 2021, before the final stop in Graham in Alamance County. Previous sites are available at

“The pilot project examines the cultural, cultural and physical significance of water in our country and increases awareness of this important factor,” Chesson said. “The actual demonstration is just a summary, because each page is divided to provide events and support programs to determine the importance of water in their area.”

Chesson said the Girls Scouts at the North Carolina Coastal Pines Council from the governments of Beaufort and Martin attended the opening of the Water / Streets show because they would no longer be able to do the big event they had planned.

“Their camporee was abolished, which is why we gave the Prime Minister our Water / Ways show as a way to achieve what would have been a great weekend night for them,” he said.

Girls Scouts at the North Carolina Coastal Pines Council from Beaufort and Martin live outside the North Carolina Estuarium Oct. 16 at the opening of the “Water / Ways” exhibition: Photo: NC Estuarium

Kim Boyd, director of the Girl Scouts group in Beaufort and Martin Counties and chief of staff, told Coastal Review Online that at least four teams were represented from the two governments on the opening day of the show.

His daughter, Courtney Boyd, a senior at Southside High School in Chocowinity, was scheduled to prepare for the camp at Camp Hardee but the camp has been closed due to COVID-19.

Boyd said his daughter wanted to have a river camp at Camp Hardee, so they worked together to find another place. chose Estuarium because it corresponds to the head of the river and was behind them.

He also said he was one of the first to see the Water / Ways show “and it was great.”

The Scouts took over the protection of the COVID-19, which included wearing a mask and allowing only 20 people at a time. After watching the show, the Scout participated in two handicrafts. He learned a lot about what is found in the river and uses river stones to paint “sweet stones.”

As part of local programs, Estuarium teamed up with BHM Regional Library in Washington to host book clubs in mid-October. NC Humanities is reading the whole world, “Water Knife” by Paolo Bacigalup, a book related to the Water / Ways exhibition and a study in the Estuarium, says Chesson.

“According to current studies, we offer technical programs after school every Wednesday in November,” he said. “The ‘Water Way Wednesday’ was designed to give children in our community an outdoor learning and fun way. All our plans include watching the show and discussing to raise awareness of the importance of blue in our cloudy universe.”

Chesson explained that he likes to teach his classes “about water magic such as the sacred trinity of molecules – living things. I feel like we could have a habit on the beach that we forget how close we are to him and how special we are. our new focus on water and its potential. ”

“Building our connections with our water systems is critical to helping to control these waters,” said Christy Perrin, North Carolina Sea Grant’s static and regional water regulator and NC Watershed Stewardship network leader. “We believe that visiting these exhibitions and other related events encourages people to go out and see their waterways.”

Chesson said David Clegg, chairman of the Estuarium’s management, found the opportunity at the North Carolina Humanities Council and The Smithsonian’s Museum on Mainstreet.

“Our director Tom Stroud thought it looked very good for our museum and our message so he asked for help and the opportunity to participate in the exhibition,” he said.

The exhibition is a partnership between the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, civil society organizations and community organizations. Sponsors include the National Humanities Center, Our State Magazine, Sea Grant North Carolina, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Science and the North Carolina Water Resources Research Institute.

Sneak a look at the Smithsonian’s Museum on the Main Street exhibition, “Water / Way.”

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