The Outer Banks Seafood Festival Endowment has been established by the Outer Banks Seafood Festival Board of Directors.

A nonprofit, the Outer Banks Seafood Festival promotes the positive impacts of the local seafood industry in North Carolina’s Outer Banks, educates people about seafood indigenous to the state and the Outer Banks, and provides need-based support to the local fishing community and its members through festival proceeds. The endowed, designated fund will be maintained to support the Seafood Festival and its philanthropy, the festival reports, and it’s structured to be a permanent resource for future generations.

“The maritime industry is a cornerstone and key economic driver of our Outer Banks,” says Chris Sawin, Community Foundation President and CEO. “This is the first fund established at the Community Foundation to specifically support the hard-working members of this industry, and we couldn’t be more grateful to The Outer Banks Seafood Festival for their generous efforts.”

Founded in 2012, the Outer Banks Seafood Festival was developed “as a way to celebrate, promote and support our local commercial fishing industry,” says Richard Hess, Chairman of the Seafood Festival Board. “Commercial fishing is a big part of our community’s cultural heritage, and it is vitally important to the Outer Banks. Our board is inspired to continue this annual event and steward event proceeds for the benefit of our working watermen and women and their families.”

The Festival has generated nearly $70,000 in grants and financial support for local maritime industry members in need since 2012. The 2022 Festival will take place on Saturday, October 15; event information is available at

Contributions to the new Seafood Festival Endowment can be made online at

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