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: 

3.  Yes to Solar 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.

2.  The Croatan Forest.  Monitoring the Actions and Changes by the U.S. Forest Service that are announced for the Croatan National Forest. 


Upcoming Croatan Group Activities and Events

Saturday Nov. 28, 2015 at 1:00 pm New Bern – Walk Off Those Thanksgiving Calories in the Croatan!

Join the Sierra Club for a slow-paced, camera friendly 3 mile trek through a beautiful deciduous forest. Please bring water and a snack, and since the terrain is a little hilly with a few slippery spots, please wear shoes with good tread. Also recommended are a sturdy walking stick, a hat, insect repellent if it is warm, extra layers, and rain gear if there is a possibility of showers. A standard waiver must be signed by all participants before we begin the outing. It is available for view upon request. To reserve a spot and for more information please email Chris at chrisfhoward@hotmail.com



Sunday Nov. 29, 2015 at 1:00 pm New Bern – Work Off Those Thanksgiving Calories in the Croatan!


Join the Sierra Club for a brisk 5 mile trek through a beautiful deciduous forest. Please bring water and a snack, and since the terrain is a little hilly with a few slippery spots, please wear shoes with good tread. Also recommended are a sturdy walking stick, a hat, insect repellent if it is warm, extra layers, and rain gear if there is a possibility of showers. There will be an opportunity for a snack break at about the halfway mark. A standard waiver must be signed by all participants before we begin the outing. It is available for view upon request. To reserve a spot and for more information please email Chris at chrisfhoward@hotmail.com


 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 hope you will join us for some great food, company, and fun as we celebrate the holiday season and a wonderful year for our growing Croatan group.  This is a potluck dinner/party, so if you are able, we ask that you please bring something for all to enjoy.  This could be anything, from simple snack foods/hors d’oeuvres, to a side dish or something more “main course” to dessert.

To help us organize this party, we ask that you

please RSVP by sending an email

to croatangroupsierraclub@gmail.com. Please

use the subject line “Holiday Potluck” and state how many will be attending and what dish you plan to bring. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email us. We look forward to seeing you there!

Recent Croatan Group Activities and Events

Sierra Club field trip with John Fussell to Rachel Carson Reserve on Sunday, November 22nd, from 2 to 5pm. Trip  focused on looking for shorebirds and other waterbirds. Trip  involved a short boat ride to the site, and then short walks along inlet beach, some possibility of wet mud.


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.  6:30 AM to 6:30 PM.  All day.  It was a great  opportunity for four of us to learn about Carolina Maritime history, barrier island flora and fauna.  More information here.

Portsmouth Village

September 12 – Saturday – Our chair, Michael Murdoch, led a service outing (North Topsail Beach Litter Cleanup) on Saturday, September 12th from 8:30am-12:00 noon.Check out the flyer below for details. The announcement is also posted on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/CroatanGroupSC?fref=ts and Meetup page: http://www.meetup.com/Croatan-Group-of-the-NC-Sierra-Club/. We hope you will join us!

More information:  here

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, from 2 to 5pm.

(Note:  to register for this field trip you must e-mail the trip leader, John Fussell, at jfuss@clis.com to reserve your space—we are limiting the trip to 15 participants.)

The field trip will be to a site that was prescribed burned during the summer. There are now hundreds of the carnivorous Venus flytraps at the site, and we’ll walk a few hundred yards to view a population of the Federally endangered pocosin loosestrife, which is a Carolina endemic with a range very similar to the flytrap.  Another specialty we’ll see is the savanna milkweed, which reaches its northern limit in the southern Croatan.  [Note that these last two species are ones we did not see on the southern Croatan trip last fall]  With luck, i.e. a little more rain, there should be lots of fall-blooming savanna wildflowers.  Also possible are red-cockaded woodpeckers and maybe a Bachman’s sparrow.

Walking is easy at this site.  However, all participants should wear long pants and footwear that covers the foot, i.e. no sandals or flip-flops.   Mosquitoes are not generally a problem in this area, but participants might bring repellent, just in case.

The trip leader is John Fussell.  John is very familiar with the site, having conducted surveys for rare plants there.  Again, to register for the trip, you must e-mail John ad jfuss@clis.com

Mini-Outing to North Croatan National Forest

The Sierra Club sponsored a fun and educational afternoon field trip to the north Croatan on Sunday, 30 August, from 2 to 5pm.  There were 15 participants.  This trip was  focused on savanna plants, especially rare species of plants, and we saw several species of butterflies as well.  Most of the plants we saw were  different from those we saw on recent south Croatan (Sam Hatcher Road) field trips, because they are ones that are mostly associated with loamy soils, rather than sandy soils.  Such “loamy soil species” we saw  included the very rare and decreasing LeConte’s thistle (at its northern limit) and Hooker’s milkwort.  We also saw native orchids, including the rare and decreasing yellow-fringeless orchid.  Some of the area was burned this summer, which provided some additional species of interest.


The trip  involved driving to multiple areas and some short walks (sometimes through knee-high vegetation) to get to the plant sites.

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.
 About 125 people attended this event, a real success considering that the weather was terrible all day.  People seem to be committed to learning about, and opposing, offshore drilling, so that the catastrophe that occurred in the Gulf will never happen here.

 The Great Invisible – Screening and Discussion in Morehead City

Thursday, July 23, 2015
7:00 PM

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, some of them representing other organizations.  Plans were made to begin a coalition of many individuals and organizations.  Break out groups worked on how to get the word out about offshore drilling and how to connect with businesses in the area and our political leaders in our local government and get them to sign on to opposing offshore drilling.



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, from 0730 to 1130, Saturday, June 13.    (Trip will focused on bird-watching.  We will look especially for singing Dickcissels—a yellow-breasted sparrow-like bird that occurs mainly in the prairie regions of the continent (however, several have been attracted to the vast early-successional habitat in the preserve for the past several summers).  We should also see numerous Blue Grosbeaks and Indigo Buntings, and likely some Common Nighthawks, Horned Larks are a possibility.  We will also see wildlife other than birds—a Black Bear would be a possibility.)  The tour  consisted mostly of driving (on dirt/gravel roads) with frequent, short stops at various sites.

May 30 -Saturday –  Sierra Club field trip to Shackleford Banks within Cape Lookout National Seashore on Saturday, May 30, 2015, from 9 am to 2 pm. Great opportunity to learn about barrier island habitats/dynamics, horse-watching, shelling and Shackleford History. The trip started with a 20-minute ferry ride departing from the Town of Beaufort (Cost: $15.00 per adult for ferry fare plus $2.00 per person for trip expenses). On the island, participants hiked about 4 miles over easy to moderately-strenuous sandy terrain.

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

• Sierra Club Croatan Group field trip to the south Croatan National Forest on Sunday, May24th, from 2pm to 5pm. Trip focused on special habitats (especially longleaf pine) and rare plants and animals. Many carnivorous plants are now in flower. Short, easy walks from parking sites.

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

Big Pix 2    image

Hands from the water    image

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.  This year we are particularly opposed to offshore drilling, and are pressing the McCrory administration to adopt and execute a strong and just Clean Power Plan for North Carolina.  The Croatan Group cosponsored, with NCIPL, this event, as we did last year.  Say NO! to filthy fuels and YES to clean renewable energy.  The event  took place at Ft. Macon in Carteret County.    After the event at the beach we moved to the Pavilion for a talk and discussion hosted  by Zachary Keith, a Sierra Club NC organizer, on what we can do next to pressure our state government to move to a cleaner energy mix and how we can work to stop the drive toward offshore drilling.  For more information about the nationwide event, go to http://www.handsacrossthesand.org.

 Photos from the field trip to Croatan National forest:

croatan with flowers    outing

April 19 – Sunday – Sierra Club field trip to the south Croatan National Forest.  2 to 5 PM.  The trip  focused on special habitats (especially longleaf pine) and rare plants and animals.  Short, easy walks from parking sites.

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

earthday 2015

February 26 – Thursday – The Wildlife Around Us, a Croatan Group presentation about nature photography by Sam Bland, at the New Bern-Craven Library (400 Johnson Street, New Bern).  More information here:

Sam Bland

February 14 – Moral March In Raleigh.  Several people from our group attended this powerful people’s march which addressed so many issues of our state, including environmental justice.  These marches have gained national recognition and are a powerful avenue to show to the power structure of NC that the people are not being well served in many issues.  The Sierra Club is well represented at these march.  Several people from the Croatan Group attended the march, most of them taking the bus that picked up people in Morehead City and New Bern.  It was great for those of us who were at the march to link up with others in the Sierra Club, and also others from other environmental organizations that are interested in many of the same issues that we are. Below are some pics from the event:

Moral March Penny, PaulMichael on bus

January 17 –  Neusiok Trail Hike. A fun six mile trail hike along the Neusiok trail that began in the Pine Cliffs Recreation Park.  About 17 people joined in.   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”.  Friday, 7 to 9 PM at the Unitarian Coastal Fellowship, 1300 Arendell Street, Morehead City.  Over 60 people attended.  For more  information about FrackfreeNC:  http://frackfreenc.org/  Keep NC Frackfree

Click below for the Power Point presentation:

Frack PPT Jan 2015

And click here for the article about Keep NC Frackfree program in the Carteret County News-Times:

News Times article Fracking program


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, research fishing biologist at NOAA lab in Beaufort.  Ft. Benjamin Park, 100 McQueen Ave., Newport.  6:30 to 8:30.  Sponsored by the Croatan Group.  6:30 meet and greet.  7:00 program begins.  Refreshments provided.  Free to the public.

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 this past year 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.

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 – Political Chair

Deede Miller – Program Chair

Lucy and Jim Bond – Membership co-chairs

Robert Scull – At Large Member, and state chapter chair

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