The oldest fishing pier in the Outer Banks of North Carolina is Jennette’s Pier at Nags Head. The Jennette family acquired the former site of a Civil Works Commission work camp towards the end of the Great Depression (1939). When completed, the fishing pier was 754 feet long and 16 feet wide, with a 28-foot-wide “T” on the end. One of the camp cabins was relocated at the base of the pier, where it was used for “cold drinks and changing rooms.”
The pier was eventually acquired by the North Carolina Aquarium Society in 2003 with plans for development as an “educational outpost”. Hurricane Isabel interrupted these plans, destroying almost 540 feet of the historic pier when it struck the Outer Banks in September of the same year.
The extensive damage to the property allowed for a new concept in the construction of the pier… from wooden pilings and planks to a new concrete facility extending 1,000 feet into the Atlantic. Replacing the 1930’s era cabin at the head of the pier is a 16,000 square foot, LEED certified, facility. According to the North Carolina Aquarium Society’s web site, “The Aquarium-operated complex will feature educational classrooms and programs, alternative energy demonstrations, live animal exhibits, meeting facilities, a snack bar and tackle shop, and a host of other displays and features for good family fun….with great fishing too!” http://www.jennettespier.net/
The most visible feature of this complex is the group of three wind turbines, each generating 10kW of power, enough to supply half of the facilities energy requirements. The Outer Banks (also home to aviation’s most historic site of Kitty Hawk) has an abundance of wind energy. Placement of the turbines along the length of the pier will allow for maximum efficiency of this alternative energy.