Created in 1992, the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum is dedicated to documenting, preserving, and presenting the coastal community traditions of the Core Sound area. It represents a diverse community of rural fishermen, hunters, carvers, boat builders and their families, including European American and African American groups that settled North Carolina’s Outer Banks and sound-side villages over the past three hundred years. Through exhibits, demonstrations, festivals, and other public programs, the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum helps preserve and perpetuate these important skills, trades, and traditions by involving the local communities in educating visitors to the region.
Located on Harkers Island, the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum is an active educational programming and preservation center for the Down East area of Carteret County. Ongoing educational programs for all ages include tours of the new museum facility and the Willow Pond project ( restored freshwater habitat area), collaborations with educational/civic/special-interest groups statewide, off-site lectures, demonstrations of traditional maritime skills (carving, net hanging, oar making, crab pot construction) and community gatherings.
The Waterfowl Museum has garnered strong community support for its public programs and exhibits by involving the tradition-bearers of the coastal villages in the planning and work of the Museum. Its commitment to the people of Core Sound has allowed the Museum to become a true “workingman’s museum” that, with the support of many state and regional partners, serves the community as both an educational and economic resource. It has become one of North Carolina’s most promising heritage and eco-tourism destinations, serving the region as a center for natural resource and cultural preservation.