Why care? If the water level increases by 2 feet, which the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicts it could by 2100, the Outer Banks may disintegrate.
Plan your trip: Sea kayaking is a great way to experience the wild and remote areas of the Outer Banks: Try Barrier Island Kayaks (barrierislandkayaks.com) and Kitty Hawk Kayaks (khkss.com). Cape Hatteras National Seashore (nps.gov/caha) is open year-round; summer is peak time for swimming and surfing, and spring and fall offer excellent fishing and birding.
How to help: The North Carolina Coastal Federation (nccoast.org) advocates restoration and low-impact development, and offers summer tours of Cape Lookout National Seashore.