Credit: NOAA.

Letter from the Executive Director: Winter 2024

“Katie Mosher will take the helm as communications coordinator and managing editor of Coastwatch starting with the Winter 1999 issue. Mosher brings to Sea Grant considerable writing, editing, and managing skills from years of work in newspapers, television, and, more recently, an online news service.”

— Coastwatch senior editors Dawn Daemon and Jeannie Norris, 1998

With that announcement in the “Holiday 1998” issue of Coastwatch, Katie Mosher began what would become a 25-year commitment to this magazine and North Carolina Sea Grant.

image: Katie Mosher.

Katie Mosher with an iconic NC State University brick, marking her 25 years of service. Credit: Dan Patterson.

For a quarter of a century, she has been a cornerstone of the Sea Grant program. In addition to her responsibilities for the overall planning and direction of the communications department, she has served on the management team as an assistant director. In that role, she often worked with our advisory board, as well as a wide range of partners in community organizations, academic institutions, business and industry, and federal, state, and local agencies.

She also has been a key contributor to the national communicators network for Sea Grant, which included time as its chair. More recently, she has brought her communications expertise to the NC Water Resources Research Institute and NC Space Grant, overseeing communications for these programs, too, helping our teams make the magic happen with energy and enthusiasm.

Katie is one of a kind. With an eye and ear for connections, she has established an impressive network that supports all three programs’ missions, often also going above and beyond in linking together other programs and NC communities in ways that help them enhance their own missions. Katie’s professional work has been in service to the public, working tirelessly to share research and outreach and resources that positively impact people and communities across the state.

We have all benefited from Katie’s expertise and dedication — here in the office and across our state — and it is an honor to celebrate Katie upon her retirement in 2024.

The occasion of her retirement has provided us with a great reason to republish a story she wrote during her second year with Coastwatch: “Treasures of Chicamacomico: An Architectural Gem Yields Rich Historical Bounty.” For generations, the Chicamacomico lifesaving station, which celebrates its 150th anniversary this year, was known for daring rescues of shipwrecked crews off Cape Hatteras. Katie chronicled an important phase in the restoration of this hidden treasure, as well as its place in coastal lore, for our Winter 2000 issue.

image: WINTER 2024 COVER of COASTWATCH.In fact, the entire current edition of Coastwatch is also a tribute to Katie’s leadership. A decade ago, she led Coastwatch’s transition from a print-only magazine to a print and digital hybrid made for changing audience interests. Coastwatch has become a publication that now can offer multi-media approaches to stories about our coast, and this issue does not disappoint.

Stories range from groundbreaking research on changing estuarine water temperatures and the potential impacts on coastal ecosystems to a new video about the benefits of living shoreline efforts. Thanks to our long-standing collaboration with NC native, award-winning author, and musician Bland Simpson, we share his reflection on crossing a stormy Neuse River. You also can hear underwater recordings of fish, go behind the scenes at a local seafood business, read the latest climate science, learn about accidental sea turtle catch, and much more.

The Winter 2024 issue provides plenty of opportunities for engaging and thoughtful reflection. I hope you can connect with these interesting and inspiring pieces — some of which may elicit echoes of your memories and provide new information for your current and future enjoyment of our collective connections with our coast.

And, as always, if you have suggestions or comments you would like to share, please reach out to me at

— Susan White, executive director
North Carolina Sea Grant


from the Winter 2024 issue