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CoastLine: Bald Head Island Conservancy Head Reflects On Ten Years Of Stewardship

Claudia Durand
A young American alligator

Bald Head Island sits on the East side of the Cape Fear River – at the confluence of the river and the Atlantic ocean.  It is one of the wealthier municipalities within Brunswick County.  Only accessible by ferry, Bald Head Island’s popular reputation is that of an island playground for the affluent.  Golf carts, bicycles, and feet are the primary means of on-island transportation.  And although it’s largely a place of second homes, with the human population peaking in the summer months, estimates of the number of year-round residents range from 160 to 220 people. 

Bald Head Island also boasts a stunning diversity of flora and fauna.  On any given day (or night), you might spot a painted bunting perched in a tree, an alligator sunning himself on the golf course, a sea turtle laying her eggs on the beach, or a snowy egret wading in the marsh. 

The person who has spent the last ten years working to protect these species – some of which are species of concern -- and educate the public about their significance -- is coastal scientist Dr. Suzanne Dorsey.   She is leaving her job at the Conservancy near the end of July and begins a new post at the University of Maryland in August.


Dr. Suzanne Dorsey, Executive Director, Bald Head Island Conservancy


Rachel hosts and produces CoastLine, an award-winning hourlong conversation featuring artists, humanitarians, scholars, and innovators in North Carolina. The show airs Wednesdays at noon and Sundays at 4 pm on 91.3 FM WHQR Public Media. It's also available as a podcast; just search CoastLine WHQR. You can reach her at rachellh@whqr.org.