Our Story

2017

Our Inception

  • After determining North Carolina’s elected officials lack accurate data required to support needed solutions for North Carolina’s coastal resources, a coalition of fishers, business leaders, and concerned citizens develops plans for a research and education focused 501(C)3 nonprofit organization.
2017
2018

The Foundation

  • On May 18, 2018, the N.C. Marine & Estuary Foundation (NCMEF) is founded and permitted to accept tax-deductible contributions from other nonprofits, charities, corporations, and individuals that support needed solutions for North Carolina’s coastal resources.

  • NCMEF’s mission statement is developed as follows: “to generate thorough research, education, and sound policy solutions to support sustainable marine resources and habitats in our state.”

2018
2019

NC Policy Collaboratory Partnership

  • NCMEF partners with the NC Policy Collaboratory to assemble a team of North Carolina’s leading coastal-focused researchers to examine and record reports from state agencies to determine the rules, approaches, and frameworks that govern the nearshore waterways and natural resources nationwide.
2019
2020

Building Momentum

  • The Foundation’s research team conducts interviews with high-ranking senior fisheries administrators from 20 of 23 coastal states, including, 7 chiefs or deputy chiefs, 12 directors, 1 assistant director, 2 commissioners, 1 assistant secretary, and 6 additional senior administrators with varying state-specific titles.

  • NCMEF launches the website thinkcoastal.com, develops digital communications outlets, and trademarks its coined brand and ethos, Think Coastal.

2020
2021

Nationwide Assessment Released

  • On June 25th, 2021, the Foundation officially releases its Nationwide Assessment, representing the first step in identifying coastal resource management practices on topics, including limited entry, gamefish designations, stocking programs, gear prohibitions, quota allocations, and dredging applications.

  • On July 22nd, 2021, The Foundation debuts its early-stage ArcGIS coastal map on thinkcoastal.com, highlighting waterway boundaries and salinity levels.

  • NCMEF partners with Coastal Beverage Co. (CBC) in Wilmington, North Carolina, for a ‘Cases for Cause’ fundraising campaign, receiving 20 cents for every case of White Claw and Pacifico sold by CBC’s vendors during July 2021.

  • NCMEF develops a strategic Plan of Work through 2024 with focal areas emphasizing research, education, messaging, and waterway access.

2021
2022

Present Day

  • On January 27th, 2022, NCMEF executes a memorandum of agreement and partners with the NC Wildlife Resources Commission to support boating access area maintenance and infrastructure repair at five sites spread geographically along the coast, including Manns Harbor (Dare County), Swan Quarter (Hyde County), Beaufort (Carteret County), Snow’s Cut (New Hanover County), and Oak Island (Brunswick County).

  • The Foundation executes a memorandum of agreement to sponsor the Carolina All-Out hunting and fishing television program to promote the Foundation’s Think Coastal brand throughout 2022.

  • On February 8th, 2022, NCMEF launches FINDEX, a proprietary stock status application providing the public and policymakers with up-to-date information regarding the health of North Carolina’s coastal fisheries. The calculations behind the FINDEX metric utilize the best scientific data available from peer-reviewed stock assessment models At least 10 important fish species will be highlighted in 2022.

  • NCMEF staff members research the administrative structure of fisheries management in North Carolina and detail the decision-making that occurs at various State and Federal levels by an assortment of entities.
2022