Posted on Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Barrier Island Study Center Opens to Much Fanfare

The newly completed Barrier Island Study Center

On Monday, April 9, the Bald Head Island Conservancy held the official grand opening ceremony for the new Barrier Island Study Center (BISC). The Bald Head Island community turned out in droves to celebrate the opening and tour the new facilities, as did the local news media. Stories about the opening of the Barrier Island Study Center ran on WWAYNews 14 Carolina and in the Star News<The media center allows for distance learning and educational programs.a>.

The 5,000 square-foot Barrier Island Study Center is the first community-based barrier island research and education facility in the nation. The  facility, located on the Conservancy campus, includes a large wet lab and a dry lab for research, a touch tank, media center and public library for conducting and disseminating environmental research.  The information gained at the BISC will be shared with the scientific community, Bald Head Island community and general public on a national and international scale, and applied to creating solutions for fragile barrier island ecosystems.

Dr. Suzanne Dorsey, Executive Director of the BHI Conservancy, spoke at the grand opening about the vision for the BISC.  “We hope that students at all levels, scientists and researchers will use the facility to conduct research to be shared, so the community can make informed decisions about how to live on BHI and other coastal communities,” she said.

The $2.4 million, 5,000 square-foot green reseaThe wet lab can accommodate large groups to perform research.ch and education facility was fully funded by the Bald Head Island community.  No local or federal government funds were used on this project—the grass roots campaign raised the money to build to the center solely through donations.

The building is on track to be the fifth in North Carolina – and the first in the southeastern part of the state – to achieve platinum LEED certification for new construction if such certification is achieved.

Be sure to check out the Barrier Island Study Center on your next visit to Bald Head Island.