You can’t find a more picturesque drive than Highway 12, the road that runs the length of the Outer Banks. Crowded during the summer tourist season, occasionally washed out by hurricanes and Nor’easters, the roadway tells the story of the region’s maritime heritage. From historic towns and lighthouses, to shipwrecks and the birthplace of aviation, Highway 12 has a rich history.
You can stop at highway markers along the way, but now technology has a new way to experience the drive.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, also known as NOAA, has put together a virtual tour of the area with the Outer Banks Maritime Heritage Trail. There are ten videos in all, three of which discuss the Battle of the Atlantic, which you can learn more about in my North Carolina Science Now story Battle of the Atlantic. Other topics include the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, Outer Banks ecology, the Chicamacomico Life Saving Station and the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary.
You can watch some of the videos at the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum in Hatteras and the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island. However the research coordinator for the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary, Lauren Heesemann, says visitors can also download the videos onto a smart phone and as they drive beside the ocean, they can watch the video nearest its coastal location!
For more information, visit the website.
- Frank Graff
Frank Graff is a producer/reporter with UNC-TV, focusing on North Carolina Science Now, a weekly science series that airs Wednesdays, beginning in August 2013, as part of North Carolina Now on UNC-TV. In addition to producing these special segments, Frank will provide additional information related to his stories through this North Carolina Science Now Reporter's Blog!