The Sierra Club, founded by John Muir in 1892, is one of the oldest, largest, and most influential grassroots environmental organizations in the United States. We are proud to say that the Croatan Team became an  official Group of the North Carolina Chapter of the Sierra Club in March, 2014.

The Croatan Group serves the Carteret, Craven, Jones, Onslow, and Pamlico counties.



THE NORTH CAROLINA CHAPTER PRIORITIES……..These are the issues that the NC Chapter has determined to be of greatest concern:


1.  The Clean Power Plan….click here

2. No to Offshore Drilling and Seismic Blasting: 

3.  Yes to Solar Energy (and Wind Energy)


THE CROATAN GROUP PRIORITIES:  Go here for a list of our local group’s priorities and explanations.  These are the issues that are very important to us, and some are local issues, some are state or regional issues, and some are national or global issues.  But all are of concern for those who want our environment to be healthy for all of us, everywhere.  There are two concerns that we have determined require our immediate and special concern: 

1.   Saving Hofmann Forest.  We must save this precious resource!  Go here for more information.  For now we have had some success in protecting this forest, but we must watch carefully for any new plans to develop this area.

2.  The Croatan Forest.  Monitoring the Actions and Changes by the U.S. Forest Service that are announced for the Croatan National Forest, including plans for a bypass highway through the highway.


Upcoming Croatan Group Activities and Events

April 14, Thursday – It’s Not Your Grandma’s Climate Anymore!

Carolina Nature Coalition presents:

Climate Change:  Science and Impacts In Eastern NC

 By Dr. Rosana Ferreira, ECU

 Thursday, April 14 at 7:00 PM

 New Bern-Craven County Public Library

400 Johnson St.


Increasing temperatures, melting glaciers, rising sea levels . . . crisis and disaster at every turn.  Weather extremes seem to be more common; the length of our seasons is changing.  How will these affect our food supply and water security, our health and prosperity? What’s real? What does it have to do with me, here in Eastern NC? If you want answers to such questions,  CAROLINA NATURE COALITION presents  Rosana Nieto Ferreira,  “Climate Change:  Science and Impacts In Eastern NC”, Thursday,  April 14, at 7:00 p.m., New Bern-Craven County Public Library ,  400 Johnson St.  The event is free and open to the public.


Dr. Ferreira has grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, among others. Her many publications have appeared in the International Journal of Climatology, Journal of Geophysical Research, Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, and Journal of Climate, among others. Employed by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center before joining the faculty at ECU, Dr. Ferreira is currently the editor of the Journal of Climate.




April 16: Saturday – Earth Day at Ft. Macon.  Our Croatan Group will have a table at the museum building. Saturday, 9am-3pm.



April 19: Tues:  Shore Stories.  A film about the dangers of oil drilling and seismic testing on coastal environments.  Panel discussion will follow.  6:30 meet and greet.  Film 7:00.  Discussion until 8:30.  Although President Obama has cancelled plans for drilling our coast, there are pressures from industry to reopen the area.  We need to be aware of the dangers of oil and gas extraction on our coast.

Shore Stories

SHORE STORIES – Tuesday, April 19th at 6:30 PM at Carteret Community College

 Six Short Films About Offshore Drilling

Please share the following flyer with your own friends, family, and social media networks. Thanks, and we hope to see you on April 19th!  



April 23:  Saturday – Earth Day at the Farmers Market at the Carteret County Courthouse grounds in Beaufort.  Our Croatan Group will have a display there.  8am til noon.  The goal of this market on this Saturday will be to raise consciousness about earth stewardship.

 April 24, Sunday – Mini Field Trip Southern Croatan National Forest

The Croatan Group of the NC Sierra Club will have a mini-field trip into the southern Croatan National Forest on Sunday, April 24, from 2pm to 5pm. The field trip will be to a site that was prescribed burned during the summer of 2015.  Thus, the site will be at its best for many carnivorous plants (Venus flytraps, pitcherplants, bladderworts, sundews, and butterworts) and other specialties.  Red-cockaded woodpeckers and Bachman’s sparrows are both possibilities. The trip will last about three hours.   Although our focus will be on a recently burned savanna, if time allows we may drive a mile and also check out some depression ponds where we will find some additional plant species, some rare, and many in flower.  There is no fee for this trip, but participants will be required to sign a waiver.  Note that all participants must wear long pants and closed-toed shoes (i.e. no flip-flops or sandals).  Because our cars will be close to the sites we’ll visit, we will not postpone the trip because of a threat of rain.  The trip leaders are John Fussell and Wouter Ketel.  To sign up for the trip, e-mail John Fussell at jfuss@clis.com  The trip will be limited to 15 participants.  Instructions on where to meet will be sent to participants after they’ve signed up.      Please note:   Because of the participation limit, please do not sign up merely to reserve a space if you are not committed to going.    And, if you do sign up but find that you must drop out, please let John know as soon as possible of this, so that we can try to work in anyone on the waiting list.


May 21:  Saturday – Hands Across the Sand.   Ft. Macon Swimming Beach.  More information to come.  This is an annual event to increase awareness of the need to move away from coal and other fossil fuels, and toward more sustainable, clean energy, like wind and solar energy.
Hands from the water

Recent Croatan Group Activities and Events


Feb. 15, Monday – program by Pat Kenny on Cape Lookout National Seashore, dealing with environmental issues there.  Program was at Duke University Marine Labs on Pivers Island in Morehead City.  Free, and all were welcome.



Feb. 13, Saturday – Mass Moral March in Raleigh.  Several members of the Croatan Group  marched in support of the environment…particularly protesting Offshore Oil Drilling, fracking, and advocating FOR a strong and just NC Clean Power Plan.  IP&L and NAACP  sponsored bus transportation from the New Bern/MHC area.

January Wednesdays -“The Green Boat: Reviving Ourselves in Our Capsized Culture” study group met on Wednesdays on January 6, 13, 20, and 27, with either a day class (3-5PM) and/or an evening class (7-9PM). Using Mary Pipher’s book, we explored how we can conquer our fears about the major environmental issues we face -global climate change- and transform those fears into a positive force in our lives.

Penny Hooper (pjhooper@ec.rr.com252-729-2521)  led the group, as it discussed the “Trauma to Transcendence Cycle” in these four classes. Over 30 people attended the classes and the final covered dish get together.

Jan. 14, 2016 – Free showing of film “Merchants of Doubt” at Joslyn Hall @ Carteret Community College in Morehead City.  Meet and Greet at 6:30, film at 7:00, to 8:30 PM.  This event was in collaboration with Carteret Crossroads and NCIPL.  This is an excellent film that shows the behinds the scene work of the climate change deniers to ensure that little or no action on climate change occurs.  If you missed this showing, try to see the film if you notice that it is being shown in your area.  It is not to be missed.  It is possible we may have another opportunity to show this film.  We will post it here if it becomes available again.
merchants-of-doubtmerchants pix3

more photos of the event here


December 8, Tuesday – Croatan Group annual Potluck Christmas Party.  All invited!  6:30 to 8:30 at the Morehead City Train Depot on Arendell St.

We all had a great time, with wonderful  food, company, and fun as we celebrated the holiday season and a wonderful year for our growing Croatan group.




Sunday Nov. 29, 2015 at 1:00 pm New Bern -a brisk 5 mile trek through a beautiful deciduous forest.

Saturday Nov. 28, 2015 at 1:00 pm New Bern -a slow-paced, camera friendly 3 mile trek through a beautiful deciduous forest.

Sierra Club field trip with John Fussell to Rachel Carson Reserve on Sunday, November 22nd, from 2 to 5pm.

October 27 – Tuesday – Stanley Riggs Presentation.  Another wonderful and informative talk by Dr. Riggs, attended by over a hundred people.  Click on Poster below for more information:

Stanley Riggs offshore drilling final 2

October 17, 2015 – Outing to Historic Portsmouth Village.  Sierra Club field trip to the historic Portsmouth Village on the Outer Banks, within Cape Lookout National Seashore.

Portsmouth Village

September 12 – Saturday – Our chair, Michael Murdoch, led a service outing (North Topsail Beach Litter Cleanup)


September 13, Sunday –Mini-Outing, Croatan National Forest

The Sierra Club will have a mini-field trip into the southern Croatan National Forest  on Sunday, September 13

Sunday, 30 August 2014 – Mini-Outing to North Croatan National Forest

The Sierra Club sponsored a fun and educational afternoon field trip to the north Croatan



July 23 – Thursday – Screening of  The Great Invisible, a film about Offshore Drilling catastrophe.  This event was  cosponsored by Oceana, the Croatan Group, Crossroads, and Interfaith Power and Light.

June 16, Tuesday – A meeting about Offshore Drilling by Oceana, was held at the Morehead City Train Depot, at 6:00 to 8:00.  About 80 people attending



June 13 Birding Trip into North River Preserve (wetland restoration area…Sierra Club Croatan Group field trip into the N.C. Coastal Federation’s North River Preserve in “Down East” Carteret County


May 30 -Saturday –  Sierra Club field trip to Shackleford Banks within Cape Lookout National Seashore

May 24 – Sunday – Sierra Club Field Trip to South Croatan…

Here are some photos of Hands Across the Sand at Fort Macon in Carteret County:

imageHands from the water

May 16 – Hands Across the Sand.  A great and fun event!  Over a hundred people turned out and held hands on the beach on a beautiful day, telling the world that we want more clean and renewable energy, and less dirty fossil fuels.

April 19 – Sunday – Sierra Club field trip to the south Croatan National Forest.

April 25 – Saturday – Earth Day Event at Fort Macon, Atlantic Beach, NC.

February 26 – Thursday – The Wildlife Around Us, a Croatan Group presentation about nature photography by Sam Bland

February 14 – Moral March In Raleigh.

January 17 –  Neusiok Trail Hike.

January 16 – Keep NC Frack Free! , sponsored by the Unitarian Coastal Federaton Green Sanctuary Committee and The Croatan Group, and graciously presented by Karen Bearden and George Matthis from “Frack Free NC”.

December 15 – Holiday Potluck Party.  Over 40 people enjoyed food, fellowship, and fun at the Morehead Train Depot on Monday  night.

November 10 – Nature Photography Program – Tips For a taking Better Nature Photographs. …..presented by Nathan Bacheler

October 26 – Paddle on Bachelor Creek. 10:00 to about 3:00. Sponsored by our Croatan Group and the Cypress Group. A Kayak trip along Bachelor Creek, near New Bern.

October 1 – Our Croatan Group hosted  a  hugely successful MEET OUR SIERRA CLUB CANDIDATES

September 21 – Carnivorous Plants Mini Outing 

September 21 – Mass Rally and March in NYC

September 20 – Saturday – Hoffman Forest Protest

September 15th – Sea Level Rise Presentation 

August  30th – Hurricane Resilience

August 25th – Hofmann Forest Sale Protest  

August 24th – Kayaking with the Candidates

July 26th  – Annual Picnic

April 24 – The State of the Honey Bee.  Presented by Tia Douglas

April 12 – Outing – Red Cockaded Woodpecker Clearing in the Croatan National Park

April 26 – Keystone XL in DC Rally.  “Reject and Protect”

May 9 – Shored Up Film at UUA Church

May 17 – Hands Across the Sand.  Ft. Macon

Hofmann Forest Presentation:  Saving Hofmann Forest.


Group Meetings

ExCom Meetings are the second Tuesday of each month starting at 6:30 pm  at  St Andrews Episcopal Church, 2005 Arendell Street, Morehead City, NC
Everyone is welcome to attend and we’re always happy to see new faces!


Political Action.

The Sierra Club is somewhat unique among  environment groups in that, based on its tax status,  it can support political candidates that we find are environmentally friendly.  The Sierra Club is completely non partisan, endorsing candidates only according to their environmental record.

During 2013 we endorsed several candidates for NC legislature, and supported them with several events in which we met them and gave them a chance to speak about their campaigns.  The state Sierra Club chapter helped fund those candidates that we endorsed.

This year, 2016, an important election year, we are planning to help support candidates we feel are very environmentally friendly.

Executive Committee

Michael Murdoch – Chair
Paul Getty – Vice Chair
Courtney Mehurg – Secretary
Cindy Weeks – Treasurer
Tancred Miller – NC Chapter Representative
Penny Hooper –  Conservation Chair

Michael Schachter and Dale Hocker – Political Co-Chair

Deede Miller – Program Chair

Lucy and Jim Bond – Membership co-chairs

Newsletter – Paul Benson

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