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 you with that too. Thanks.

Jason Robertshaw
FMSEA Southwest Regional Director
rd-southwest @
941-388-4441 x 250


Membership Renewal

During the FMSEA 2014 Conference, the Board proposed a change to our bylaws so that our membership year and our fiscal year will coincide. This measure passed. FMSEA Membership now begins on July 1 of each year. That means a majority of the Southwest Region’s members will lapse after June 30th. If you did not attend the conference and have not yet renewed your membership, please consider doing so today. If you have questions about your membership, contact me or Mellie Lewis ( or visit Thank you.

FMSEA 2014 Elections

Congratulations to the newly elected members of the FMSEA Board.

  • President-Elect: Jenna Cummings, Cantebury School of Florida
  • Secretary: Reese Hanifin, Alonso High School
  • Panhandle Regional Director: Stephanie Nagle, Gulf World Marine Park
  • North Regional Director: Earnie Olsen, Marine Science Station – Citrus County School District
  • West-Central Regional Director: Jaclyn Gerakios, PACE Center for Girls

Next year the Southwest Regional Director position will be open. If you are interested in becoming more active with FMSEA and would like to learn more about holding an elected office, please contact me.

FMSEA 2015

Next year’s conference location has been announced. Join us from April 30–May 3, 2015 for FMSEA 2015–TAMPA BAY: VISION OF THE PAST, KEY TO THE FUTURE. Visit to check for details and contact Heather Segura if you’d like to volunteer (


Learn About Sea Turtles on Free Walks

* WHERE: Meet at the public beach access point at 4795 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key. Parking is available.
* WHEN: 6:45 a.m. every Saturday in June and July
* DESCRIPTION: You can learn the tale behind the turtle tracks and scout local beaches for nests by joining Mote Marine Laboratory’s free, educational Turtle Walks. The walks are led by a Mote-trained volunteer, who shows participants how Mote’s Sea Turtle Patrol scouts for signs of turtle nesting as part of an effort to conserve sea turtles. People of all ages are welcome. Children must be accompanied by an adult. No reservations are needed.

World Environment Day

* WHERE: Mote Marine Laboratory, Sarasota, FL
* WHEN: Thursday, June 5, 2014, 9:00 am–12:00 pm
* DESCRIPTION: This year’s WED theme focuses on the small island developing states, places particularly threatened by environmental changes. Attend the Community Forum to learn more about local and global actions to protect our environment.

World Oceans Day Family Festival

* WHERE: Mote Marine Laboratory, Sarasota, FL
* WHEN: Saturday, June 7, 2014, 9:00–11:00 am
* DESCRIPTION: Mote’s World Oceans Day event will feature a Dr. Seuss theme to spotlight the ocean’s deep connection to the human spirit and the boundless inspirational power of our natural world’s greatest resource. This year’s event will feature games and crafts focused on green practices, marine science and conservation by Mote and other local organizations.
* REGISTRATION: Free with admission to Mote Aquarium. Admission is $19.75 for adults, $18.75 for seniors over 65, $14.75 for kids ages 4-12 and free for ages 3 and younger. Mote Members always get in free.

Lemon Bay F.I.S.H. Project

* WHERE: Lemon Bay Park, Englewood, FL
* WHEN: Saturday, June 14, 2014, 9:30–11:30 am
* DESCRIPTION: F.I.S.H.–Folks Interested in Submerged Habitats! Join American Littoral Society Biologist Chuck Idelberger in Lemon Bay using hand and seine nets to search shallow waters and sea grass beds, observing, collecting, and discussing the natural history of some of the many interesting fishes and other animals that inhabit the bay.
*REGISTER: To register for this event, please call Chuck Idelberger directly at 941-488-8998 or Kenya Leonard at 941-915-1244.

Explore Caspersen Beach with Denny and Al

* WHERE: Caspersen Beach, 4100 Harbor Drive in Venice by taking U.S. 41/Tamiami Trail toward Venice. Turn onto W. Venice Avenue. Drive approximately 0.4 miles and turn left (south) onto Harbor Drive S. Drive approximately 3.2 miles. The road dead ends at Caspersen Beach Park. Meet at the large pavilion next to the playground on the park’s east side.
* WHEN: Wednesday, June 25 from 9 – 11 am
* DESCRIPTION: Enjoy a leisurely stroll at Caspersen Beach in Venice on Wednesday, June 25 from 9 – 11 am, with Sarasota County volunteers, amateur botanists and Florida Native Plant Society members, Denny Girard & Al Squires. Denny and Al will lead you on a search for summer plants along trails that meander near freshwater and saltwater marshes, mangrove areas, and tidal flats. Along the way as you search for plants in the coastal scrub area, enjoy the views of the Intracoastal Waterway.
* REGISTER: If you are having problems with on-line registration, contact Sarasota County Parks and Recreation at 941-861-7275 – 8 am – 4:30 pm, Monday – Friday.

Aquatic Species Collection Workshop

* WHERE: Mote Marine Laboratory, Sarasota, FL
* WHEN: Saturday, November 1, 2014, 9:00–11:00 am
* DESCRIPTION: The workshop is available to certified Florida teachers and/or eligible employees of educational centers. The primary workshop objective is to promote best practices in the collection and maintenance of aquatic organisms for educational activities. Upon successful completion of the training workshop, a participant receives a certification that is authorized by both FMSEA and Commission representatives and valid for 3 years.
*REGISTER: $25, registration opens in July at

Sarasota Waterfest 2014

* WHERE: Ken Thompson Park, Sarasota, FL
* WHEN: Saturday, November 1, 2014, 10:00 am–4:00 pm
* DESCRIPTION: Join the fun celebration of the importance of Sarasota Bay to the region’s environment, economy and quality of life featuring live music and the “aqua-garde” fashion show. The party will help raise donations for Sea to Shore Alliance and Save Our Seabirds. Also NEW for 2014 is a Pet Zone with pet-loving exhibitors and giveaways.

2014 Youth Ocean Conservation Summit

* WHERE: Mote Marine Laboratory, Sarasota, FL
* WHEN: Saturday, November 8, 2014
* DESCRIPTION: Students of all ages can work with their peers, adult mentors, marine scientists and conservationists to learn about threats to ocean ecosystems and get a chance to develop their own ocean conservation projects. A variety of workshops and trainings will give them the skills necessary for success. Students will network and learn about careers in the marine science field from a variety of conservation organizations.

Mote Marine Laboratory will offer the Florida Master Naturalist Freshwater Wetlands Module on Saturdays, beginning March 23 through April 27, from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm.



The objective of the Florida Master Naturalist Program is to prepare persons to share their knowledge with others, to act in a positive manner, to help others feel a greater connection to the land/sea and to help others to develop their own personal environmental ethics. Information on the ecology of Florida’s systems is an integral part of the program, but we do not attempt to create experts in botany, herpetology, or any other discipline. Rather, we hope to initiate what is for many a life-long process of learning, of observation, and of sharing with others. Florida Master Naturalist Program students will increase their knowledge of Florida’s natural systems, of the plants and animals that depend upon those systems, and of the role of humankind in shaping our past, of determining our future, and as stewards of the land.

Freshwater Wetlands Module Overview

Through classroom, field trip, and practical experience, this Module provides instruction on the general ecology, habitats, vegetation types, wildlife, and conservation issues of Freshwater Wetlands in Florida – Marshes, Swamps, and Permanent Wetlands (Lakes, Rivers, Springs, and Streams). The program also addresses society’s role in wetlands, develops naturalist interpretation skills, and discusses environmental ethics.

The total training consists of 40 contact hours. Classroom learning includes four instructional videos and 12 presentations.


There are 25 spaces available for this module. All students are required to register in advance online at the FMNP web site: Registration closes on March 18. On-site registration is not allowed.

  • FMNP Scholarships: Some organizations offer scholarships to attend FMNP classes. For information on these opportunities, please contact these organization directly. Opportunities are posted year-round on this FMNP webpage.

Student Requirements

FMNP students include anyone over the age of 18 interested in learning more about Florida’s environment. The only other requirements of students are enthusiasm, attendance, and completion of group final projects. Those who benefit include environmental educators, natural resource managers, volunteers, eco-tour guides, teachers and anyone wishing to expand their knowledge of Florida’s natural world. Professionals and teachers have obtained CEUs and in-service credit.

Attendance: To successfully complete an FMNP course, students must not miss more than one classroom presentation and one field trip. The names of students who successfully complete FMNP training will be maintained in a University of Florida/IFAS database. The honor roll of students who have attained Florida Master Naturalist certification are also published on the FMNP website for public view.

Aquatic Species Collecting Workshop

Date: 3/9/13
Start time 9:00 am
End time 12:00 am

Facility name: Mote Marine Laboratory
Address: 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, FL

Contact: Jason Robertshaw
Phone Number: 941-388-2904
Email: jrshaw @

Fee: The workshop cost is $25.00. Make checks out to FMSEA. Preregister with name, address, email, phone number, and organization.

Weather permitting, an optional field sampling trip will take place in the seagrass beds outside Mote Marine Lab’s classroom. Visit for more details.

Join the Coastal Cleanup!

by Dana 2012/09/15 Regional Reports

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 […]

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Southwest Regional Update – August 2012

by Dana 2012/08/22 Regional Reports

Greetings FMSEA Southwest Region! I hope this update finds you recharged and ready to take on another school year!  Read on for information about events in our region and be sure to check out the details of our SW Regional Member Contest.  Please contact me if you have any questions or event updates.  Have a […]

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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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Mote Science Café

by Dana 2012/06/01 Regional Reports

Brown Bags to Beggar the Dolphin Bad eating habits and poor nutrition are an issue with America’s youth…and Sarasota Bay dolphins? Join the discussion about nutrition in humans and dolphins – including a local dolphin named “Beggar” whose story reveals why feeding wild dolphins is harmful – from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 7 […]

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