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Students explore an outdoor classroom

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NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- Masonboro is not just an island. It's now an outdoor classroom. It's all a joint effort by masonboro.org and the North Carolina Coastal Reserve to teach kids about the marine ecosystem unique to our area, using a hands-on approach.

The groups launched the Island Explorer program as an opportunity for students to identify wildlife, take water samples, and even monitor the weather...free of cost. Organizers hope students gain a lasting appreciation for the island.

"We are hoping that by having these young kids over here, that that same message of appreciation will carry through with them," said organizer Haywood Newkirk. "They will want to preserve the island and maintain responsible public access to it in the future."

Masonboro,org is having a benefit to raise money for the island explorer program June 5 at Bradley Creek Marina. The goal is to raise enough money to offer this opportunity to all New Hanover County students.

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