East Central Regional Blog – November 2016

by Brandon on 2016/11/05

in East Central, Regional Reports

It seems like we just finished up the national conference but would you believe its already time to think about the next FMSEA annual conference. If you haven’t heard yet we’ll be holding it in one of my favorite Florida cities, St Augustine, May 4-7. You can even reserve your hotel already at the Hampton Inn & Suites Vilano Beach just minutes away from the historical area of St. Augustine. We secured a rate of $164 a night which is a steal for a hotel right along the beach or most any area in St Augustine for that matter.

The call for presenters is also open and we would love for you to share your expertise with all our members. Topics on ocean literacy, marine & ocean conservation, new & innovative marine science content, research, activities, and curriculum are encouraged.  All concurrent sessions will be Saturday, May 6th.
Please complete and submit the Call for Presenters form by using the following link:  https://goo.gl/forms/mf0OkEmhC2ZJ4DBF2 Deadline for proposal submission is 5:00PM March 15, 2017.  Notification of accepted proposals will be sent during the following week of March. Questions?  Contact: proposals@fmsea.org

We are also looking for dynamic educators and/or researchers that teach about or research areas of the Ocean Literacy Principles to participate in the opening plenary session at the upcoming FMSEA conference on May 4- 7, 2017. The theme of the conference is FMSEA On the First Coast: Shining a Light on Ocean Literacy.

If you or someone you know teaches and/or conducts research within any of the Ocean Literacy Principles and is interested in sharing their experiences and viewpoints with the FMSEA 2017 Conference attendees, then please reply to the FMSEA Presidents’ Chain (Past-President Jenna LoDico, President Jaclyn Gerakios, & President-Elect Earnie Olsen).
The Essential Principles of Ocean Literacy are:
1 The Earth has one big ocean with many features.
2 The ocean and life in the ocean shape the features of Earth.
3 The ocean is a major influence on weather and climate.
4 The ocean made Earth habitable.
5 The ocean supports a great diversity of life and ecosystems.
6 The ocean and humans are inextricably interconnected.
7 The ocean is largely unexplored.
For more information on Ocean Literacy, go to http://oceanliteracy.wp2.coexploration.org/
Stay tuned for more information about the FMSEA 2017 Conference at http://fmsea.org/events/conferences/2017-2/

Dune to Lagoon at BIC

Check out the great events happening at the Barrier Island Center in Melbourne Beach in November and December.

It’s Getting Hot In Here

I’ve been involved with the following program and couldn’t recommend it more for those looking for more information and climate change and possible money to do affiliated projects at your facility.

Do you want to do more than just learn about climate change?
Join educators across the United States supporting climate resilience.
Apply NOW to join the NOAA Climate Stewards 2017 Stewardship Community.

Selected educators who meet project requirements will be eligible for:

  • Up to $2000 to support the execution of a climate stewardship action project.
  • Travel reimbursements to attend select workshops and/or national conferences – following the successful completion of a climate stewardship project.
  • Special professional development opportunities.
  • Monetary and educational resources.

Applications are being accepted until midnight November 20, 2016. 

If you are now a member of the Stewardship Community, received funding to carry out a climate stewardship action project and are interested in extending your project for the 2017/2018 academic year, or interested in conduct another or related stewardship project during the 2017/2018 academic year, you MUST reapply this year.

To learn more about this opportunity and apply, go to the NOAA Climate Stewards Education Project Web Site

Questions? Contact:


Even if you aren’t ready to get involved in the large community you can still attend their presentations each month which the next is this Monday.

Join Us Monday, November 7 at 7:30 pm Eastern Time for:
Water Water Everywhere? Will There Be Enough to Drink?
Space is Limited! Reserve Your Seat at:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

NOAA’s Climate Stewards Education Project is pleased to welcome Brian McInerney, Senior Hydrologist at NOAA’s National Weather Service Forecast Office in Salt Lake City, Utah as our featured speaker this month. 


Of the climate change research found in accredited journals, 97.4% of the scientists agree our atmosphere is warming and that humans are the main cause of it. As such, it’s important to understand that in the scientific community there is no longer a discussion of this fact. The question then arises as to the magnitude of the warming we’re facing, what changes we’ll we see in the world’s weather and how those changes will affect the world’s population.

The evidence of climate change is compelling. In this lifetime we have seen sea levels rise, global temperature increased, oceans warm, ice sheets shrink, a decline of arctic sea ice, the retreat of glaciers, an increase in intense weather events, ocean acidification, and the decline of snowpacks.

In this discussion, Brian will address the predicted and observed impacts of a warming climate to water resources globally, and then regionally within the United States. In the United States we can expect areas that receive the majority of their water supply from spring snowmelt runoff to transition to a rain driven hydrology. Where areas that were once snow covered mountains, we can expect those mountains to receive rainfall during the cold season. Additionally, we’ll see a change in precipitation patterns affecting vast majorities of the population. This includes increased storm and rainfall intensity, more extensive and prolonged droughts, and a long term change in precipitation patterns.

With these changes in our future, how will we adapt? In fact, can we change the rate and magnitude of our warming? What can one person do to alter our future?

Festival Time

With the nicer weather here is is time for festivals. There is a lot of competition each weekend for festivals. You may be interest in a few ocean related festivals as well as other events listed in the Conradina Chapter of the Native Plant Societies most recent newsletter Conradina News November 2016.

Keys to Ocean Education

Though not in our region this is another experience I’ve had the pleasure of attending and I would recommend it for any educator and not just because you get to go to the keys. The information learned and experiences there are great.

Newfound Harbor Marine Institute (NHMI) is now accepting registrations for our annual Marine Education Workshop.
Registration Fee: $250.00 TEACHERS/EDUCATORS
Registration includes two nights lodging, five meals (Saturday breakfast through Sunday lunch), lectures, field trips and snorkel gear. Registration is based on a first come first serve basis.  Please contact the Marketing Department at: 305-951-7430 or info@nhmi.org for a registration form or with any questions about the workshop.
NHMI is located on Big Pine Key, in the Lower Florida Keys, 120 miles southwest of Miami via US 1.  This Marine Education Workshop will offer the opportunity to study a variety of marine science concepts.  Unique sub-tropical program sites within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary include: Soft and hard coral communities, mangrove islands, nearshore sponge and seagrass beds, and Negoniolithon Shoals.
All educators, naturalists and others with an interest in the marine environment, 21 and older, are invited to join us.

In-Service Credit: Available to participants through your county/school office.

An FWC/FMSEA Aquatic Species Collecting Workshop to earn a 3-year certification to collect aquatic species for educational purposes within the state of Florida will also be offered during the weekend.
This is a great opportunity to experience first-hand the unique approach NHMI/Seacamp uses to educate youth through a customized experiential education program,
Don’t hesitate to contact them with any questions about any aspects of their programs.
Judy Gregoire
Newfound Harbor Marine Institute
305-872-2331 ext 238

And the Award Goes to…

No we aren’t talking about the Oscars but you can get recognized for you contributions to conservation.

Announcing the John Denham Award for Community Engagement in Conservation

Do you know a scientist, NGO leader, or philanthropist whose actions have made or are making a lasting impact on critical conservation efforts by engaging local communities? Apply or nominate someone today for the John Denham Award!

Ecology Project International believes that lasting conservation depends on local community support and engagement, and we’re looking for incredible individuals who share this vision around the world. In addition to sharing the story of your work with our audiences, the 2016 John Denham Award winner will also receive a 5-day, 4-night stay for two at Pacuare Reserve in Costa Rica, which includes hands-on interaction with the scientists and ongoing research happening during the time of your visit.

Applications are due by NOVEMBER 30, 2016 – apply or nominate someone today: https://www.ecologyproject.org/denhamaward.

SJRWMD launches new educational grant program


I am excited to announce a new program at the St. Johns River Water Management District I hope our region’s teachers will consider being part of. This week we launched the Blue School Grant Program.


The District has a strong commitment to educating the next generation and their families about the value of water. Our staff has done this for many years through in-school and online programs. The Blue School Grant Program enhances the District’s educational outreach work. Having been involved in a similar program when I was the Executive Director of the Suwannee River Water Management District, I know such programs have been well received by our educators and the children they serve.


In our inaugural year, the District has budgeted up to $10,000 for this grant program, providing up to $1,000 per teacher per school to enhance student knowledge of freshwater resources issues. Four grants types are available: water quality field study, water-conserving garden project, community/school awareness campaign and a freshwater resources field study program. Public and charter school teachers of grades 9 through 12 within the District’s 18-county service area are eligible to apply.


The deadline to apply is Nov. 30, 2016, and teachers receiving grants will be notified by Dec. 12. Information packets are being mailed to each high school in the District. In the meantime, I encourage our educators to learn more about this program at www.sjrwmd.com/education. Thanks in advance to each of you who plan to participate, and thanks to the District’s team who put together this opportunity. I’m thrilled we will be working even more closely with our community schools on water resource outreach!

And that’s about all for this blog. Remember if you have information or programs at your institution that you’d like to get the word out about then send them my way.

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