FMSEA North Region Quarterly Update

by Savanna on 2014/07/18

in North

Hello from your FMSEA North Regional Director! My name is Earnie Olsen and I am the Supervisor of the Marine Science Station, a Citrus County School District facility located in Crystal River, FL ( I look forward to serving the FMSEA North Region to the best of my abilities and I hope you will help recruit more members to our region! Historically, we have been a FMSEA region with a small membership population. Please get the word out to your colleagues about the benefits of FMSEA membership! Also, please feel free to email me at to notify me of any events occurring in your area that should be shared with our FMSEA North Region.

Here are some events that have been going on or will be occurring within the FMSEA North Region:

• This past June, the Marine Science Station and the Citrus County School District were able to successfully provide students outstanding educational field experiences in freshwater, estuarine, and marine ecosystems during Camp Citrus 2014. The students were literally immersed in hands-on learning while boating, snorkeling, and canoeing in local waterways of the Nature Coast. Middle and high school students were able to stay overnight for five days and four nights at the Marine Science Station under the constant care, guidance, and instruction of outstanding teachers and support staff. Every day the students were on or in the water while learning about local ecology and the water quality issues that impact aquatic environments. Every night they worked on fun crafts and used various technological tools to create educational projects. The students enthusiastically shared their projects with their families on the last evening of camp. Based on the comments of the campers and their families, as well as the feedback from the teachers and support staff, Camp Citrus 2014 was a resounding success!  Go to and check out the Camp Citrus 2014 Photo Gallery.


• Heather Sneed, who is an Environmental Specialist II with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Division of Marine Fisheries Management, Outreach and Education Subsection, coordinated with Marine Science Station staff to put on a 5 day, 4 night workshop for 16 teachers that currently hold Aquatic Species Collection Permits. The teachers learned about Marine Fisheries Management and Field Experiences within the Marine Science Station campus and aboard the MSS boats. Field trips were also taken by the teachers to the Duke Energy Crystal River Mariculture Center, the Crystal River Preserve State Park, the Crystal River Archaeological State Park, and the Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park. Based on the feedback from the teachers and Heather Sneed, the event was a success!


Upcoming events/announcements:

• NOAA Bay Watershed and Education Training Program – Teacher Professional Development at the Marine Science Station, Citrus County School District. Two-day workshops will be held July 22-23 and July 29-30 for elementary, middle, and high school teachers who participate in Field Experiences aboard the Marine Science Station boats during the 2014-2015 academic year.



• Save Our Waters Week, coordinated by the Citrus 20/20 organization, is a series of field trips, presentations, and community service activities centered on environmental stewardship of freshwater, estuarine, and marine waters of Citrus County, FL. See events below:

o Friday, Sept. 19, 6 p.m. CITRUS 20/20, INC. FUNDRAISER. Doors open 6 p.m., dinner 7p.m. Keynote speaker: Senator Charles Dean. Topic: Florida Springs —A Treasure in Jeopardy. Conference Center, College of Central Florida, Citrus Campus, 3800 S. Lecanto Hwy, Lecanto. Call (352) 201-0149 for information & tickets. Cost: $35 per person.

• Saturday, Sept. 20, Sunrise to 11:30 a.m. 25TH ANNUAL LAKES, RIVERS AND COASTAL CLEANUPS. Groups/organizations are encouraged to volunteer. Registration deadline: Sept. 5. Call (352) 527-7684 or email Kayaks available for cleanup volunteers at the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge courtesy of A Crystal River Kayak Company. To reserve a kayak, call (352) 795-2255. FREE.

• Saturday, Sept. 20, Lunch served at 11:30 a.m. EASTSIDE VOLUNTEER APPRECIATION COOKOUT. Registered cleanup volunteers are welcome. Lake Hernando Beach, 3699 E. Orange Dr., Hernando. Call (352) 860-2762 for information. FREE.

• Saturday, Sept. 20, Lunch served at noon. WESTSIDE VOLUNTEER APPRECIATION COOKOUT. Registered cleanup volunteers welcome. Sponsored by and located at American Pro Diving Center, 821 S.E. US 19, Crystal River. Call (352) 201-0149 for information. FREE.

• Monday, Sept. 22, 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. “ONE RAKE AT A TIME” LYNGBYA ALGAE CLEANUP AT HUNTER SPRINGS. Volunteers to help clean Lyngbya algae out of the swimming area. Sponsored by Kings Bay Rotary. Call
(727) 642-7659 for registration. Capacity: 45 people. FREE.

• Monday, Sept. 22, Tours at 10:30 a.m. & 1:30 p.m. HERITAGE-ECO BOAT TOUR AT CRYSTAL RIVER PRESERVE STATE PARK. Guided interactive river tour discussing ways pre-Columbian Indians may have used available marine resources. Depart from Crystal River Preserve State Park, 3266 N. Sailboat Ave., Crystal River. Call (352) 795-3817 or (352) 563-0450 for registration. Capacity: 24 people per tour. FREE.

• Monday, Sept. 22, Tour at 9:30 a.m. BOAT TOUR OF KINGS BAY WITH THE SOUTHWEST FLORIDA WATER MANAGEMENT DISTRICT. Tour Kings Bay with a springs expert to learn how the District is “Restoring Our Springs!” Tour departs from the Port Hotel and Marina, 1610 SE Paradise Circle, Crystal River. Call (352) 796-7211, ext. 4782 or email to register. Capacity: 28 people. FREE.

• Tuesday, Sept.23–Friday, Sept. 26 HELP CLEAN LYNGBYA ALGAE FROM SPRING VENTS AT THREE SISTERS SPRINGS. Scuba divers only. Sponsored by the Kings Bay Rotary. Call (727) 642-7659 for registration and times. Capacity: 6 people per day. FREE.

• Tuesday, Sept. 23, Tours at 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m. & 1 p.m. HOMOSASSA RIVER BOAT TOURS. Interpretive tour aboard the Miss Riverside. Depart from Riverside Resort, 5297 S. Cherokee Way, Homosassa. Call (352) 628-2474 or 1-800-442-2040 for registration. Capacity: 38 people per tour. FREE.

• Tuesday, Sept. 23, Tours at 8 a.m., 10 a.m. & noon. KAYAK TOURS. Paddle through quiet canals to Three Sisters Springs. Launch from A Crystal River Kayak Company, 1332 S.E. US 19, Crystal River. Call (352) 795-2255 for registration. Capacity: 10 people per tour. Cost: $10 refunded at end of tour.

• Tuesday, Sept. 23, 6 p.m. LOCAL HIGH SCHOOLS ENVIRONMENTAL JEOPARDY COMPETITION. Local high schools compete in testing their environmental knowledge. Public invited. Event held at Citrus County Extension Office, 3650 Sovereign Path, Lecanto. Call Dee Atkins at (352) 400-1860 for information. FREE.

• Wednesday, Sept. 24, Tours at 8 a.m. & 9:30 a.m. PONTOON BOAT TOURS OF THE CRYSTAL RIVER
NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE. Guided boat tour of Kings Bay refuge islands. Depart from Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, 1502 S.E. Kings Bay Dr., Crystal River. Call (352) 563-2088 for registration. Capacity: 24 people per tour. FREE.

• Thursday, Sept. 25, Tours at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. & 2 p.m. EAGLE NEST BOAT TOURS AT CRYSTAL RIVER PRESERVE STATE PARK. Interpretive tour of the Crystal River. Depart from Crystal River Preserve State Park, 3266 N. Sailboat Ave., Crystal River. Call (352) 563-0450 for registration. Capacity: 24 people per tour. FREE. Movie Living Waters will be continuously shown at the Preserve’s Redfish Revue Theatre 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Sept. 22 through Sept. 26. FREE.

• Thursday, Sept. 25, Tours at 8 a.m. & 10 a.m. KAYAK WITH AARDVARK’S FLORIDA KAYAK CO. Beginning paddler tours. Participants will pick up litter as they paddle through St. Martins Marsh and learn about saltwater marsh habitat. Depart from county boat ramp at Pirates Cove, Ozello. Call (352) 795-5650 for registration or visit Capacity: 10 people per tour. FREE.

• Friday, Sept. 26, 9:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. CITRUS COUNTY RECYCLES. Guided tour of recycling facilities in the county. Registration is required. Space is limited; call (352) 201-0149 before Sept. 23 to reserve a seat. Capacity: 40 people. $10 donation.

• Friday, Sept. 26, 9 a.m. to noon. ARCHAEOLOGICAL KAYAK TOUR. Explore archaeological sites on the shores or beneath the surface of the Crystal and Salt rivers with the Public Archaeology Network. Depart from Crystal River Preserve State Park, 3266 N. Sailboat Ave., Crystal River. Call Jeff Moates at (813) 396-2327 or visit Capacity: 15 people. Cost: $20.

• Saturday, Sept. 27, 9 a.m. to noon. RESTORING OUR SPRINGS! WORKSHOP. Public workshop for all springs enthusiasts. Learn more about our treasured springs and how to join the community effort to protect them. Sponsored by Citrus 20/20, Save Our Waters Week and the Southwest Florida Water Management District. Located at the Citrus County Builders Association, 1196 S. Lecanto Hwy, Lecanto. For registration call (352) 796-7211, ext. 4782 or email

• National Estuaries Day at the Crystal River State Park and the Marine Science Station. Special events, vendors, agencies, boat rides, and tours of the local estuary will take place on September 27th from 9am-1pm. Details to come soon.

Thanks for your support of FMSEA North!

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