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COROLLA, N.C. (June 16) - As visitors began to file into the exhibit hall of the Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education this morning, Sharon Meade couldn't keep from smiling.

"This is really something," Meade, the curator of the "Life by Water's Rhythms" gallery, said. "This is a dream fulfilled, a dream that began with the Currituck Wildlife Guild that the region's heritage needed to be preserved."

Just moments before, a ribbon cutting ceremony had made things official and 6,000 square feet of displays, artifacts and a unique marsh aquarium were open to the public.
Once inside, visitors saw something of the heritage Meade spoke of, beginning with the earliest Native American inhabitants, to turn-of-the century market hunters and boat builders, continuing through today's multi-agency habitat conservation efforts.

Center Director Clarence Styron said an estimated 30,000 people a day are expected at the height of the visitor season.

The Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education is located at Currituck Heritage Park, next door to the Whalehead Club, a historic hunting lodge of the 1920s, and the Currituck Beach Lighthouse, an 1875 beacon still in operation.

The Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education is one of three regional education facilities operated by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission across the state. A fishing and aquatics education center in Fayetteville is currently under construction.
 
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