“I don’t know a facility on the east coast or even in this country that’s doing what we’re doing,” Keith Rittmaster said.
Keith Rittmaster has dedicated over 30 years of his life following his passion of wales research and conservation. Through local partnership all throughout Carteret County, the Bonehenge Whale Center is coming to life.
“I feel like I can have this role and make a significant contribution to science,” Rittmaster said.
The facility aims to bring more knowledge on whale diversity, raise awareness on marine conservation, and inspire volunteers to make a difference. The facility will not only share artifacts and art, but also a hands-on experience
“I have the privilege of hearing the words oh wow quite a lot. If I put a sperm whale tooth in your hand you will feel the weight and size and say ‘oh wow’,” Rittmaster said.
Rittmaster also says none of the exhibits are replicas, but real bones with real stories behind them.
“A flipper of a fin whale, that stranded at Cape Lookout in 1992,” Rittmaster added.
Even local artists like Nancy Bowles, took part in highlighting what the marine life in Beaufort has to offer.
“It was a way to bring alive the work we are doing in a different way for people to see,” Bowles said.
One thing Rittmaster wants to make clear, this isn’t a museum.
“It’s a workshop,” Rittmaster said.
The Bonehenge Whale Center is expected to be open to the public by the end of this year.