Bald Head Island Conservancy

Celebrating 40 Years

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40 Years of Stories

This year marks the 40th Anniversary of the Bald Head Island Conservancy. In celebration and reflection, we are connecting with Conservancy staff, volunteers, and community members from throughout the four decades in a new series. Written in the Sand: 40 Years of Stories will tell us the story of the Conservancy and its community, from the Generator Society to today.

The Westers

The Wester family were part of the pioneers not only of Bald Head Island Conservancy but also Bald Head Island itself, building one of the first homes on in the mid 1970s. Learn about BHI past and hear how the Wester Family helps preserve and sustain its future.

Matthew Ramirez

Matthew Ramirez is an alumni of our 2011 Sea Turtle Protection Team and an assistant professor at UNC Wilmington. We sat down with Ramirez in his outdoor office at the Center for Marine Science to talk about a lifelong love for sea turtle science and lifelong friendships found on the beaches of Bald Head Island.

Dick & Pat Johnston

Dick and Pat Johnston are long-time Conservancy supporters, volunteers, donors, and founders of our Johnston Center for Coastal Sustainability. We sat down with the Johnstons at their Cape Fear Trail home to talk about their arrival in 1995, their work with sustainability and storm relief, and sharing their love for Bald Head Island with their grandchildren.


David Berne

David is a first-generation Islander, long-time Conservancy supporter and owner of our sponsor, Atlantic Realty Professionals. When we chatted with Berne, he recounted memories from Bald Head Island’s earliest days – of lighthouse owls, bountiful fish, and, of course, generators.

Kit Adcock

Early islander Kit Adcock takes us back to the 1990s, when she was Board President and the driving force in the formation of the Smith Island Land Trust. When we chatted with Adcock, she recounted afternoons spent island-hopping, fish fries with Conservancy interns, and living life by nature’s rhythms.

baker armitage

Susan Baker & Elyse Armitage are long-term volunteers, islanders, and trememndous stewards of the Conservancy and its mission. They have played an important part in the successes of Turtle Central, the Conservancy’s non-profit store.

The Cathcarts have been a part of theConservancy for many years, serving as volunteers, supporters, and active participants across the generations. 

From sea turtle nest monitors to volunteering at Turtle Central to serving in board leadership roles, the Brown Family has been an integral part of the Bald Head Island Conservancy for many years.

A part of the Bald Head Island since the 1970s, Sheila and John May are integral to the history and future of the BHI Conservancy through their ongoing support.

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