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Come early, stay late and explore while you’re here. Experience the finest in Southern hospitality, friendly competition and grand adventures while in Wilmington.

The NC Aquariums host pre- and post conference trips for registered attendees. Tours are included with registration.

Sunday, April 20 and Saturday, April 26 (Saturday Spots Filled)

Dive the Graveyard of the Atlantic

The waters off the North Carolina coast are known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic. Mass numbers of ships met their perilous end in these treacherous waters. Dive with us to 90 feet to explore a shipwreck. Swim throughs and sand tiger sharks provide unique photo opportunities. In addition, a second dive each day occurs at “Megalodon Ledge.” Here you can search out the massive fossilized teeth from this extinct predator species.
Transportation and all dive gear provided. Trip requires preregistration and gear fit. Space is limited. Trip is weather/condition dependent.

Diving excursions will be operated by Scuba Now. Explore the Markham and Hyde shipwrecks.



Sea Turtles and More

Road trip to two different North Carolina barrier islands to find hidden gems tucked along the shore.

Travel north to the Crystal Coast and the NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores. As one of the state’s three public aquariums, Pine Knoll Shores offers an aquatic journey from the mountains to the sea, with native wildlife habitats featuring river otters, sea turtles and sand tiger sharks.


Visit the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center on Topsail Island to see first-hand how a grassroots operation grew from an idea to a globally-recognized conservation organization. Meet staff and volunteers dedicated solely to the care and release of injured and sick sea turtles.



Sunday, April 20

9:00am - 3:00pm

Paddle excursion to Masonboro Island

Join staff from the NC Aquarium on a beautiful paddle toMasonboro Island. Masonboro Island is the largest undisturbed barrier island along the southern part of the North Carolina coast. This trip includes an approximately 40 min. paddle with the tide through salt marsh creeks to reach a beautiful secluded beach. Paddlers have 1.5 2 hours to explore the island - search for shells and sea glass, add new NC species to your bird list, or sit, relax and enjoy the beach. Lunch is provided and when the tide begins to ebb the group will follow, paddling another 30-40 min. back to the boat launch.

This trip is limited to 20 people. Pre-registration is required. Some canoe paddling experience is recommended. All equipment is provided. Sponsored by Aqua Logic.




Wednesday, April 23-afternoon

Aquarist Olympics and Beach Day

Let the games begin! Grab your sunscreen and a few teammates for the return of Aquarist Olympics. Go for the gold or just relax at the beach during this (mostly) friendly competition at the Fort Fisher State Recreation Area.


Dinner Reception-NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher

Enjoy a casual dinner reception and celebrate RAW 2014 with old and new friends. Stroll through the fresh water conservatory, marine building and outdoor gardens. Explore on your own or talk with staff behind the scenes. Dinner, drinks and transportation are included.


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Last updated: 10/02/2013