Calling all FMSEA members!

National Marine Educators Association Annual Conference

We just returned from a wonderful NMEA Conference in Annapolis, MD and now we’re ready to start our own conference planning. Please read on for details about the FMSEA 2015 Conference and NMEA 2016 (did I mention that FMSEA is hosting?!)

FMSEA 2015: May 1 – 3, 2015 in Tampa, FL

NMEA 2016: June 25 – July 1, 2016 in Orlando, FL

We’re looking for some eager FMSEA members to serve on our Conference Committees. If you are interested in helping with either the 2015 or 2016 Conference (or both), please e-mail Kasey at Here are some areas where we need help:
  • Concurrent Sessions
  • Exhibits
  • Auctions
  • Field Trips
  • Speakers/Special Guests
  • Hospitality
  • Technology
  • Events (i.e. SciCafe, Banquet)
  • Transportation
  • Publications (i.e. signs, Conference program)
  • Sponsorship & Fund Raising

Last but not least, if you attended NMEA 2014, we would love to hear from you. What did you like? What would you like to see more of? Please send your feedback to

We hope to hear from you soon!


Kasey Gaylord-Opalewski, 2014-2015 FMSEA President

I know the summer can be quite busy for most of you especially those in the informal realm. I know I’m deep into summer camps along with many other summer programs for libraries and the like. I am coming up for air to give you a quick update on a few things of interest in the near future with the first two coming up this weekend. Hope you enjoy the update.

Tour de Turtles

The Barrier Island Center is hosting their must attend soiree this Saturday followed by a sea turtle release on Sunday. The also have guided sea turtle walks offered throughout the the end of July. Find out more information on the flyer here. Also, check out their August events here for “Shark Week, Every Week.”

Oysters on the Half Shell (or Maybe That Was Shoreline)

Seminole Rest Living Shoreline Event: July 25 & 26, 2014 Oyster Restoration Help with planting native vegetation, laying oyster mats and shell bags in Canaveral National Seashore. Schedule • 8-11 Am each day @ Fellers House making shell bags (see directions below) • 11 AM – Noon each day, transport to Seminole Rest (Need people with trucks to meet at Fellers house to help transport) • Noon – 3 PM each day, deploy bags and plants (Seminole Rest, see directions below) Wear old clothes and closed toe shoes that will get wet. Bring water, food, sunscreen, insect repellant and good spirits for hard work!!! No RSVP required, Half or full day volunteers welcome Fellers House directions from UCF • Go West on University BLVD to SR-417 (Greenway) • Follow north to Lake Mary Blvd Exit • Right onto SR-427. Then right again @ light onto Lake Mary Blvd. Follow to end at SR-46 (light) • Cross SR-46 onto SR-415, follow North to light at SR-44. Turn right onto SR-44 to New Smyrna Beach • Follow SR-44 across bridge over ICW to where it changes to SR-A1A. Follow along beach south to ending at park entrance. At park gate, Identify yourself as An Oyster Volunteer Fellers House once inside the park • Follow park road south to Eldora Road, turn Right • Just past Eldora parking lot, turn right onto dirt road (look for the sign the says UCF Research Facility) • Take 1st right on driveway to Fellers House Seminole Rest (Noon – 3 PM) Located in Oak Hill on River Road just south of Goodrich’s Seafood Resturant From New Smyrna Beach • Follow US-1 South turn left at Oak hill Flea Market onto Canal Ave, • OR Left in downtown Oak Hill onto East Halifax Ave. Follow east to River Road and the park. From Titusville or Mims • Take US-1 North, turn right in downtown Oak Hill onto East Halifax Ave • OR right onto Canal Ave at the Flea Market, follow east to River Road and the park If lost call 407-443-6943 (Paul)

Get Your Name in Lights (Or At Least on a Calendar)

There is still time to enter the Indian River Lagoon Photo Contest. Your work could be featured on next year’s Indian River Lagoon Calendar. The calendar is quite the hot commodity as we can’t seem to keep them on the shelves when they come out. Be one of the people who’s pictures shows up on office walls throughout the state. Find out more information below.

IRL Photo Contest

Wish for a Fish

Would you like to use fish and invertebrates for education. Learn the how and why to collecting and keeping species in your classroom in an upcoming aquatic species collection workshop. Upon completion of the workshop you will receive a permit from FWC that will allow you to collect and keep live specimens for educational purposes. The cost of the course and permit good for 3 years is $25.  Several classes are upcoming in our region: Brevard County: Riverwalk Park, Rockledge, FL, August 9, 11:00 am-2:00 pm. Find more details and register at Volusia County: Volusia County Agricultural Center, Deland, Fl, September 10. More details and registration link coming soon.

Go Beyond Green

Sure you put out recycling every Tuesday and you are now driving a Prius but do you know what it truly means to live sustainably? Find out the ins and outs of sustainable living and how it relates to our water resources and coastal areas of Florida during the upcoming Sustainable Floridians class offered by the Brevard County Extension Service starting on August 20.

What Can 4H Do For You?

Learn all about the programs offered by 4H in this open house in Brevard County on September 5.

Regional Outing

Our sister region (West Central) is having a regional outing on Saturday August 30, 2014 at 10 a.m. though if you are interested in attending you are more than welcome. This outing will be held at Canterbury School of Florida. 990 62nd Ave NE, St Petersburg, FL 33702 They will be viewing the documentary Shark Water: For filmmaker Rob Stewart, exploring sharks began as an underwater adventure. What it turned into was a beautiful and dangerous life journey into the balance of life on earth. Driven by passion fed from a lifelong fascination with sharks, Stewart debunks historical stereotypes and media depictions of sharks as bloodthirsty, man-eating monsters and reveals the reality of sharks as pillars in the evolution of the seas. Filmed in visually stunning, high definition video, Sharkwater takes you into the most shark rich waters of the world, exposing the exploitation and corruption surrounding the world’s shark populations in the marine reserves of Cocos Island, Costa Rica and the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. The running time for the film is 89 minutes. After the film viewing they will have a lesson plan sharing session with everyone in the Cousteau Center for Marine Studies. Refreshments will be provided. To RSVP for this outing please click on the link below: That’s all for now but remember if you have any items you think would be of interest to our members don’t hesitate to pass them along to me at We also have a board meeting coming up on August 2-3, if there are any topics you’d like me to bring up to the board please let me know.

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!

West Central Summer Regional Outing

by Jaclyn 2014/06/11 West Central

Hello from your West Central Regional Director! Please join us for our Summer West Central Regional Outing! Saturday August 30, 2014 at 10 a.m. This outing will be held at Canterbury School of Florida. 990 62nd Ave NE, St Petersburg, FL 33702 We will be viewing the documentary Shark Water: For filmmaker Rob Stewart, exploring […]

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Southwest Region Update–June 2014

by Jason 2014/06/01 Regional Reports

Hello FMSEA members, here is an update for the Southwest Region (Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Glades, Hendry, Lee, Collier). Remember, if there are events in our region that you’d like to see promoted here, please let me know. Also, if you are having an event and would like someone from FMSEA represented there, I can help […]

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West Central Regional Report – May 30, 2014

by Jaclyn 2014/05/30 Regional Reports

  Hello from your West Central Regional Director!   My favorite holiday is approaching: World Oceans Day! This holiday was officially recognized by the UN in 2008 and is always on June 8th. If you have summer programs or want to highlight this holiday before the end of the school year there are some awesome […]

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Southeast Florida Coral Reef Institute Workshop Flyer

by Heath 2014/05/17 Southeast

Southeast Florida Coral Reef Institute Teacher Workshop June 14 2014 Dania Beach FL Coral Reef Teacher Training Announcement & Application Coral Reef Teacher Training Announcement & Application

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FMSEA Southeast Springing Into Summer

by Heath 2014/05/17 Southeast

      FMSEA Region Report- Spring 2014 Region: Southeast Director:  Heath Martin   Activities for the Period -ASC Workshops:  May 17 Environmental Studies Center, Jensen Beach. 830-1130. -Regional Updates Via Emails May 13 -Regional Blog Postings on May 17 -Youth Opportunities May 7-11.  Broward County Public Schools Marine Science Fair.  Plantation FL.   […]

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Introduction to newest West Central Regional Directot

by Jaclyn 2014/05/07 Regional Reports

Hello from your newest West Central Regional Director! My name is Jaclyn Gerakios.  I am a science teacher at the Pace Center for Girls in Pinellas Park, Florida.  I have served on the FMSEA board for the last 2 years and was elected West Central RD at our annual conference just last month. Listed below […]

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East Central Regional Update May 2014

by Brandon 2014/05/06 East Central

We had a great annual conference in Panama City Beach. For those who couldn’t make the trek, not to worry, we’re bringing it back into the peninsula next year. Mark your calendars for April 30-May 3, 2015, when the conference will be in Tampa. Also, don’t forget that if you didn’t attend the conference you […]

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