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What is the Museum of Coastal Carolina?

Ben Steelman

Founded in 1991, the Museum of Coastal Carolina is a private, non-profit natural science museum located at 21 E. Second St., Ocean Isle Beach [Map this]. Exhibits deal with the coastal environment of the Brunswick beaches and their Native American heritage.

On display are live snakes, a touch tank with live sea animals and an aviary. Exhibits depict ocean reef, barrier island and seashore habitats, as well as wildlife of the nearby Green Swamp. The museum also illustrates how stormwater flows into the ocean, illustrating how pollution in runoff can cause problems. “Legacy of the Loggerhead” covers the life cycle of sea turtles who come ashore nearby to lay their eggs.

Among the artifacts are large collections of sea shells and sharks’ teeth; dugout canoes, pottery fragments and projectile points left behind by local Indian tribes; shipwrights’ tools; plus Civil War rifles and other items recovered from the wrecks of blockade runners offshore.

During the summer, the museum staff offer family activity programs on a variety of nature-related themes, as well as an ongoing evening lecture series.

The museum’s winter and spring hours are 10 a.m-4 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Its summer hours (beginning May 23) are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday, with evening science programs lasting until 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday nights.

Tickets are $8 adults, $6 students and seniors, $4 preschoolers aged 3-5; younger toddlers are admitted free.

The Museum of Coastal Carolina is affiliated with the Ingram Planetarium in nearby Sunset Beach. Discount combo tickets to both museums are avaialable: $15 adults, $11 students and seniors, $7 children aged 3-5.

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