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3 Jun 2024
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Oak Island, North Carolina is a stunning coastal location that draws tourists to its immaculate beaches, lush nature, and warm hospitality. There’s something here for everyone whether you’re planning a family vacation or yearning to learn more about the history and culture of the island. Beyond typical experiences, however, OKI offers special chances for visitors to give back to the environment and community. By volunteering during your Oak Island vacation, you can help preserve the island and make memorable experiences for you and future visitors. Here are a few ways you can contribute to the island and its members during vacation!

Ways to Volunteer with the Oak Island Beach Preservation Society

Become a Beach Ambassador

The Beach Ambassador Program aims to educate residents and visitors about the importance of beach safety, environmental conservation, and responsible tourism. As a volunteer, you’ll dedicate a few hours of your time to educate fellow beachgoers about beach rules and sustainable practices while maintaining the beauty of the beach. To become a Beach Ambassador, you’ll submit an application to the program coordinator and undergo a background check. Once the application is complete, you’ll attend training sessions where you’ll learn more about beach ordinances and practice various encounters you may have with beachgoers. Learn more about becoming a Beach Ambassador during your OKI vacation.

Participate in a Full Beach Sweep

If you don’t frequent Oak Island enough to become a Beach Ambassador, you can still lend a hand during the fall and spring for the Full 9-Mile Beach Sweep! Meet up with other volunteers in the community as you work to remove pounds of debris from the beach and document your findings. Keeping up with the kinds of trash and debris found on Oak Island helps scientists monitor the health of the ocean and the coast; your contribution ensures the longevity of safer, cleaner beaches, and makes it easier to pass ordinances that support the overall health of the beach.

Join the Adopt-a-Beach Access Program

Keeping the beach clean should be a priority for both visitors and community members. With over 60 public beach access points, it can be a hard job for one person to ensure that every access is clean and safe. For this reason, you can adopt an access through the OKI Beach Preservation Society! Perfect for families who spend the summer in Oak Island, you can sign up for seasonal responsibilities that include making sure the parking area is clean, requesting the pick up of larger debris, and reporting damages to the parking lot, fences, and more. If you’re interested in the Adopt-A-Beach Access Program, fill out an application to get started!

Volunteer for Oak Island’s Living Shoreline Cleanup Events

In addition to beach sweeps, Oak Island offers opportunities to participate in the maintenance and restoration of living shorelines. Living shorelines are made of plants and other material and serve as both habitats for different marine species and a means of preventing erosion along the coast. By volunteering for live shoreline cleanup programs, you can educate yourself and others on the value of these ecosystems, making a tangible difference in their preservation. You don‘t need any special skills or knowledge to help out, just come prepared to get your hands a bit dirty. Click here to find the next date that works for you. Work gloves and muck boots will be available!

Share Your Wealth of Knowledge with the Oak Island Community

The Oak Island Nature Center is a volunteer run facility dedicated to promoting environmental awareness and conservation through educational programs and exhibits. As a volunteer, you can assist with supporting local educational workshops and summer programs. By sharing your time and knowledge, you'll inspire others to appreciate and protect the natural wonders of Oak Island while deepening your own understanding of the local ecosystem. 

The Nature Center's native plant gardens also offer a great opportunity for volunteers who have a green thumb. These gardens provide an important educational resource for guests and present the varied flora of the Oak Island region. By helping with the planting, weeding, and upkeep of these lovely outdoor areas, you can ensure that they flourish and encourage guests to recognize the significance of OKI's native plants. View upcoming programs and see how you can give back at the Nature Center during your OKI vacation.

Plan Your Oak Island Vacation with Ways to Give Back to the Community

As your Oak Island vacation draws to a close, take a moment to reflect on the aspects of the island that make it so special – the miles of sandy beaches, the warm ocean breeze, and vibrant sunsets. Aside from the beautiful backdrop, Oak Island is a living, breathing ecosystem that relies on the care of individuals who visit and call it home. By dedicating some time during your vacation to give back, you play a vital role in preserving the island’s natural wonders and encouraging others to do the same. 

What will you do after all your hard work? There’s no better way to immerse yourself in the city’s coastal charm than to relax in a comfortable Oak Island vacation rental. Spoil yourself with an oceanfront view or soak in a private pool. No matter how you choose to relax, it will be a well deserved break knowing that you took some time to give back to the community.