Bring the Ocean into You Classroom

We have two Aquatic Species Collection Workshops coming up in our Region. One in Brevard County, on August 9, and one in Volusia County on September 10. After completion you will receive a permit that will allow you to collect marine and freshwater fish and invertebrates for educational use in your classroom. The permit is $25 and good for three years. You can find more information on the classes and register on the links above.

Restore a Shore

FWC and partners are restoring a saltmarsh on FWC property in New Smyrna Beach. Here are the details on the upcoming Saturday events for volunteers:

When: August 9 and 23, Sept 6 and 20 from 9:00am to 1:00pm…rain or shine (plants like both!)

What: planting native species within and along the newly-restored saltmarsh, viewing mountain, and amphitheater. We have plants of various sizes but most are 8-18inches and easy to handle. The work is moderately strenuous and involves walking in uneven, sandy (sometimes wet) terrain.

Who: participants must be a minimum of 10yrs of age. Anyone between the ages of 10 and 16 must have signature from a parent or guardian the day of the event at sign-in.

Where: FWC’s Mosquito Lagoon Marine Enhancement Center (home of Marine Discovery Center) at the end of Barracuda Blvd. along the north causeway in New Smyrna Beach (520 Barracuda Blvd., New Smyrna Beach, FL 32169). Follow the signs the day of the event to park in the west parking lot.

How: just bring clothes that can get dirty, closed-toe shoes that you don’t mind getting wet and dirty, gloves, shovels (especially drain spade and handheld spade types), sunscreen/hat/water in a reusable bottle, wheelbarrow (if you have one), a great attitude, and we’ll show you the rest. Please label your tools to avoid confusion.

Why: could be fun, our native species need your help, to get outdoors, to see the new features at the site (see the progress happening in the picture below).

If you are interested in attending, RSVP John-Paul at Please include the names of the people attending, their ages, e-mail address, and contact phone number.

Live Sustainably

The Brevard County Extension Office will host an eight week program on Wednesdays starting August 20, about sustainable living strategies. The cost of the program is $30 and covers all materials and one Saturday field trip. Find out more information on the flyer here.

Bring the Keys to your Computer

NOAA Ocean Exploration Webinar for Educators – Coral Ecosystem Connectivity Expedition 2014: Pulley Ridge to the Florida Keys

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) Office of Ocean Exploration and Research invites formal and informal educators to participate in a webinar to introduce educational resources developed for an ocean exploration mission to the coral reef ecosystems off of southwest Florida.

From August 14-28, 2014, ocean explorers will be investigating relationships between shallow water coral reefs and deeper, twilight zone (or mesophotic) coral reef ecosystems of the southwest coast of Florida. Scientists are working to better understand the role that these relatively healthy mesophotic reefs may play in replenishing key fish species and other organisms in the downstream reefs of the Florida Keys and Dry Tortugas. Fieldwork will include characterizing the benthic habitat and fish communities using a remotely operated vehicle and deploying drifters to measure currents. Both genetic and ecosystem connectivity will be investigated with the goal of developing new strategies for managing and protecting shallow and deeper water coral ecosystems.

This 60-minute webinar will provide an introduction to the science behind the expedition and the associated Education Expedition Module, including lessons and other resources to enable you and your students to delve more deeply into the expedition and follow along with us online. Resources presented will be archived for use during the upcoming academic year.

Image: Example of corals and algae found on Pulley Ridge. Photo Credit: M. Echevarria, Florida Aquarium.

This cruise is part of a multi-year partnership between OER, AOML, FMFS, NOS’ National Marine Sanctuary Program and Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research, and two NOAA Cooperative Institutes: the Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies (CIMAS) and the Cooperative Institute for Ocean Exploration, Research, and Technology (CIOERT).

Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

Questions? Contact Susan Haynes,

Title: NOAA Ocean Exploration Webinar for Educators – Coral Ecosystem Connectivity Expedition 2014: Pulley Ridge to the Florida Keys
Date: Thursday, August 7, 2014
Time: 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM EDT
After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

Christmas Tree Worms

Hard to believe we are approaching the close of another year; time just seems to fly by. The FMSEA board is already hard at work trying to plan next year’s conference at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, May 2-5. Hope you are saving the date.

I am also trying to plan some exciting regional outings for next year. If you have any thoughts or suggestions I would be happy to take them into consideration. I would also like to start up monthly regional trips to our various member organizations. If you would like to host one of these trips and show off your facility and programs to other educators just contact me to set up a date. Now on to our regional events.

Whales and Turtles and Birds, Oh My!

There are many exciting events going on at the Barrier Island Center in Melbourne Beach this month. They have programs for almost every extant class of tetrapods in December. Contact them at 321-723-3556 for more information or registration.

Blue Cypress Lake Paddle – Saturday, December 15th @ 1 to 4 p.m. Wind your way through stands of cypress on this beautiful lake. Meet at Middleton’s Fish Camp, 21704 73rd Manor, Vero Beach, 32966. Please wear water shoes, sunscreen and bring your water bottle. Choice of single or tandem touring kayaks. Children under 12 must paddle tandem with an adult. Cost of kayak rental is $38 per person. Enrollment is limited to 20 people/10 kayaks. Make your reservation by Thursday, December 13th. No refunds after this date, unless minimum is not met. If the weather does not permit, after meeting to launch, rain date tbd.

Sea Turtle Survival Obstacle Course – Friday, December 21st @ 1 to 4 p.m. Kids can strap on a turtle shell and wind their way through through our sea turtle obstacle course to learn about the hazards sea turtles face during their long migrations and what people can do to help ensure their survival.

“Sea Stars!” Touch Tank – Sunday, December 23rd from 1 to 3 p.m. Come meet our “Sea Stars” and learn about the diversity of life living in the Indian River Lagoon. Touch tank guests will include a Diamondback Terrapin, and an assortment of conchs and crabs.

“Who’s Home for the Holidays?” Hike – Friday, December 28th @ 10 a.m. Watch those extra holiday pounds fly off as the migratory birds fly in to put on a few! Bring your visiting family and friends to enjoy this special 1 mile guided hike around the Barrier Island Sanctuary. Please wear closed toe shoes, sunscreen and bring your water bottle. Enrollment is limited to 20. Call to make your reservation.

“Disneynature Migration” Film – Saturday, December 29th @ 1 & 3 p.m. Sweep across the surface of the planet on the big screen to witness the mysteries of migration! Learn why and how animals, birds and insects leave their homes to make miraculous journeys. Running time of 25 minutes.

It’s Getting Hot In Here

Would you like to increase your climate science knowledge?

Would you like to join a community of educators interested in projects that make a difference in your local area?

Join NOAA’s Climate Stewards Education Project (CSEP). They provide formal and informal educators with sustained professional development, collaborative tools, and support to build a climate-literate public that is actively engaged in climate stewardship.

Applications are being accepted until December 17 for the class of 2013.  After completing minimum requirements, you will be eligible for:

  • Mini-grant funding to develop and implement a climate stewardship action plan
  • Travel stipends to attend and present at key professional development conferences.
  • Special CSEP contests with monetary and educational resource prizes.

If you decide to join this effort, you will be committing to:

  • Complete and reflect on at least 15 hours of professional development (PD) training in climate science and education in 2013.
  • Complete and reflect on at least 9 hours of  PD training in climate science and educational for each additional year you remain with the Project.
  • Participate in monthly CSEP webinars and regional events (teleconferences, online chats, etc.,) during evening hours.
  • Develop and Implement a climate stewardship project in your school, community, or organization, focused on mitigating the effects of climate change.
  • Use the CSEP Wiki to post your PD reflections, classroom activities in climate change, stewardship project plans, progress updates, as well as share resources, comments and results with other CSEP educators.
  • Fully participate in CSEP evaluation efforts

Educators accepted into the program will be notified early January, 2013 and will be required to attend a mandatory introductory Web seminar for new participants – tentatively scheduled for January 14th OR January 28th, 2013 at 7:30 PM Eastern Time.

Click here to apply today.

Money Money Money Money….MONEY!

There are also several scholarship opportunities for students coming up. I wish you luck if you apply for any of the following:

Wetland Research

Applications are invited for the 2013 Garden Club of America Coastal Wetland Studies scholarship.  The award is a one-year scholarship for graduate studies in coastal wetlands and carries a stipend of $5,000 to support field-based research.  For the purposes of this scholarship, coastal wetlands are defined as those tidal or non-tidal wetlands found within coastal states, including the Great Lakes.  Applicants should be enrolled in a graduate program (M.S. or Ph.D.) at a university within the United States.

See for application requirements.  Applications due January 15, 2013.  Email should be directed to

Underwater Robotics

Beneath The Sea, a not for profit organization, has been educating young people about the importance of the ocean/marine environment for 36 years. One way that they provide education is by offering several scholarships annually.

This year they are offering a special scholarship to a team. The Deep Ventures scholarship ($2500) is being offered to a team of students who are developing an underwater robotic. This is the first year they are offering a team scholarships. Teachers/students, take note. Send in your application soon. There are only 7 weeks to the January 15, 2013 deadline for the Beneath The Sea Marine Careers scholarship applications.

Go to for scholarships application requirements and application forms. Don’t miss out on this opportunity. Applications and inquiries should be sent to

And don’t forget about the Beneath The Sea Marine Careers Program, a one day program offered on March 22, 2013 for high school and college students and their teachers. Check for more information about this free program.

Ocean Essays

The Ocean Awareness Essay Contest is a great way to explore a career as a science writer–and possibly win thousands of dollars doing it! The goal of the From the Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Essay Contest is to challenge high school students to think critically about real challenges facing the ocean. Winning essays can earn students (and their school) up $2,500 in prize money. Contest information can be found at

Although this contest may seem to be all about science, Becca Carifio, one of last year’s winners, has useful advice for this year’s contestants that would make an English teacher proud:

  1. Enter! You can’t win if you don’t try.
  2. Write about something that you feel passionate about. Even though there are proposed essay questions, students can ask contest organizers for permission to write about another topic.
  3. Make it personal. Include your own experiences, opinions, or observations.
  4. Be entertaining. After all, judges will be reading a lot of essays.
  5. Proofread and edit. You can never edit too many times!




Happy International Coastal Cleanup Month! I hope you’re finding some great events to participate in. If you haven’t yet, here are some more going on in the Southwest Region….

4th Annual Monofilament Cleanup

  • Date: Saturday, September 29, 2012
  • Time: 8:30 am – 12:30 pm
  • Location: Sarasota Sailing Squadron
  • Sign up at Sarasota Bay Watch.

National Estuaries Day

  • Date: Saturday, September 29, 2012
  • Time: 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
  • Location: Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
  • Detail can be found here.

Morning Paddle on Sarasota Bay

  • Date: Saturday, September 22, 2012
  • Time: 10:00 am – 11:30 am
  • Location: Mote Marine Laboratory
  • Register online.

Keep Manatee Beautiful

  • Date: Saturday, October 6, 2012
  • Time: 9:00 am (time may vary with location)
  • Location: Varies, see website for details.
  • Sign up at Keep Manatee Beautiful.

Why keep our coasts beautiful? I think the Ocean Conservancy says it all here,



Florida Master Naturalist Program

by Dana 2012/06/03 Regional Reports

Coastal Habitats Module Now at Mote Marine Laboratory! Mote Marine Laboratory will offer the Florida Master Naturalist Coastal Habitats Module on Saturdays, beginning September 22 through October 27, from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. Visit Mote’s website for course schedule, student requirements and scholarship opportunities. Overview: Through classroom, field trip, and practical experience, this Module provides instruction on the general […]

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