OCEAN — The N.C. Coastal Federation invites environmentalists and others to join online for the 2020 Pelican Awards.

The NCCF announced it will “celebrate North Carolina’s beautiful coast” at the 2020 Pelican Awards and Virtual Coastal Social. Anyone interested may join the federation at 6 p.m. Thursday “as we honor our 2020 award winners and hear their inspiring stories of coastal stewardship.”

This year’s celebration will be held via Zoom. The federation said in its announcement participants don’t need an account to participate.

“Anyone can join (with or without video) to enjoy the camaraderie and heart-warming stories from the coast,” the federation said.

The federation’s Pelican Award program was initiated in 2003 to recognize people and organizations that have shown exemplary coastal stewardship. This year’s ceremony will spotlight 14 award winners from up and down the coast.

NCCF Executive Director Todd Miller said each year the federation recognizes “extraordinary achievements of people working together to protect and restore the coast.”

“This year’s winners will again inspire us to work even more diligently for our coast,” Mr. Miller said. “The event begins at 6 p.m. with a coastal social featuring music, fun and a special toast to the coast. At 6:30 p.m. the awards program will begin to honor Pelican Award recipients up and down the coast. All ticketholders will be entered into a drawing for a virtual door prize. And back again this year is the outstanding silent auction featuring the best of the coast, from an afternoon with local oyster growers, to coastal décor, special experience and more.”

Event tickets are $20 for federation members and $25 for non-members. Those unable to attend the event can still participate in the oyster roast raffle and online auction.

This year’s premier sponsor is Wells Fargo. The Leadership award sponsors are Restoration Systems LLC and Wilbanks, Smith & Thomas Asset Management LLC. The federation’s partner sponsors are Coastal Stormwater Services Inc., Emerald Isle Realty, First Citizens, Randy & Peggy Hatfield, Marc & Gail Jessup, Lyle Contracting Solutions, Bubba & Barbara Rawl, Rob Lamme & Associates and Seaglass Wine Co.

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