Sponsorship of N.C. Aquarium dive program memorializes volunteer Bill Koebernick

Bill Koebernick above the Graveyard of the Atlantic habitat where he dove as a volunteer for more than 20 years. [photo courtesy NCARI]

A sponsorship in the name of Bill Koebernick, who passed away in April, will support the volunteer dive program at the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island. Koebernick was a dedicated member of the dive program for more than two decades.

In Bill’s honor, the program will be renamed the “Bill Koebernick Volunteer Dive Program,” and two plaques will be dedicated in his memory: one near the viewing area of the Graveyard of the Atlantic Gallery where he dove often, and one in the dive equipment area where volunteers and staff prepare to dive.

“It is our honor to name the volunteer dive program in memory of Bill Koebernick,” said Aquarium Director Larry Warner. “His commitment to two decades of volunteer dive service and his passion for our programs, animals and staff were incomparable. His name at our Graveyard of the Atlantic exhibit will remind us warmly of what he meant to the program and staff here at Roanoke Island.”

The sponsorship, received through the North Carolina Aquarium Society – the nonprofit fundraising arm of the NC Aquariums – will allow the Aquarium to make technological enhancements to the gallery that will increase guest interaction and appreciation of the animals and habitat there.

“Bill always came to the aquarium with a smile and he passed on that smile wherever he went,” said Dive Safety Officer Shawn Harper. “This generous sponsorship will breathe new life into how we all experience the aquarium and in turn pass on the joy it creates to others, just as Bill did for decades and will continue to do in-memory for the future.”

Aquarium Dive Safety Office Shawn Harper with one of the plaques dedicated in Bill’s memory.

Following a memorial service for Bill on July 14, his father Bernie Koebernick spoke to the Aquarium about Bill’s service there.

“Bill was very proud of his time volunteering for 20 years and he really enjoyed the time he spent at the aquarium,” he said.

For more information about the North Carolina Aquarium Society, go to ncaquariumsociety.com. To learn more about volunteering, including with the Bill Koebernick Volunteer Dive Program, go to ncaquariums.com/Roanoke-island-volunteer.

The NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and is dedicated to the mission of “Inspiring appreciation and conservation of North Carolina’s aquatic environments.”

The aquarium is currently closed to the public in accordance with the Governor’s “Safer at Home” Phase Two. Updates and info at ncaquariums.com/roanoke-island.