Being born and bred in southeastern NC, this trip to the Outer Banks was definitely not my first. However, it was my first trip with friends that I had only known as far back as about a week or two. I had explored the Outer Banks multiple times prior to this trip, but none of those compared to the one I most recently embarked upon. “Growing up coastal” as I have deemed myself, I feel like I’ve always had an appreciation for our ocean, coastline, wetlands, estuaries and so on. Experiencing the rawness of the Outer Banks with a group of likeminded, strong-willed girls was an experience that will resonate within me for the rest of my life. From doing some serious clean-up work with NC Coastal Federation on Wanchese Inlet to watching sunsets over Jockey’s Ridge; from facing frigid temperatures to rid the beaches of trash, and visiting local restaurants to make our stand on single use plastics, the entire excursion was one that left me feeling empowered and inspired. I think one of the key moments that stands out to me was when we made it to a place called The Point or Cape Point rather, where there are north and south facing beaches. To witness two currents come together in a war of water like that truly stopped me in my tracks. Such a perfect mesh of Gulf Stream big game fish to dolphin pods to Plovers that nest on the shore, this magical place is worth protecting. I’ve always admired the OBX, but after this Hope Spot: Hatteras trip, my eyes have viewed it in a new setting, one of hope and one of warning all in the same snapshot. I feel that it is up to us to advocate and act for those that cannot do so for themselves, whether it be wildlife, ecosystems, shorelines or oceans.