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Googling the Gulf: #4

 

Outside of Hawaii, Florida is the only state to have extensive coral reef formations near its coasts.

Coral reefs grow only in specific ecosystems with the right depth and temperature of water, and the right mix of nutrients and wave action.

In addition to being some of the most beautiful and biologically diverse habitats in the ocean, coral reefs are also some of the oldest.  » Read more

Googling the Gulf: #3

 

You can call the Gulf of Mexico an “Aquatic Highway” if you’d like!

The Nature Conservancy recently analyzed data on 26 species identifying four major migratory pathways — dubbed “blueways” — that criss-cross the Gulf.

These routes are used extensively by fish, mammals, sea turtles, and birds, with migrations occurring year-round.

However, less than one percent of these aquatic corridors have been classified as marine protected areas,  » Read more

Googling the Gulf: #2

Photo from the NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program

 

As you can imagine, the water surrounding Florida has become a graveyard of sorts for many a shipwreck.   

In fact, scientists estimate that more than 4,000 shipwrecks are now resting on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico, casualties of centuries’ worth of shifting sands and treacherous storms.  

Since a large part of the Gulf is right over the North American Continental Shelves,  » Read more

Googling the Gulf: #1

Photo from Jetsetter

 

Without a doubt, the sugar white sand beaches that line the Gulf of Mexico are among the most beautiful in the world.

But there’s so much more to the waters we call home, as the Gulf is a diverse ecosystem with a long and interesting history.  We thought we’d spend this week learning a bit more about it!  » Read more

An Earth-Healthy School Year

 

Courtesy of our friends at the J.N. “Ding” Darling Wildlife Refuge, here’s a list of helpful Green Tips for an Earth-Healthy School Year:

    1.   Check last year’s backpack for supplies you can repurpose this year.
    2.   Buy used books.
    3.   Shop for eco-friendly, reusable school supplies.
    4.   Take your own lunch, packaged in reusable materials.
    5.   Use a water bottle for beverages instead of plastic throw-aways.
  1.  » Read more

A Hybrid Sea Turtle

 

Meet Flame Lily — a hybrid sea turtle!

Each year, SCCF sea turtle staff encounter about 160 unique individual turtles at night during their field season — and some of them really make an impression.

When the team first encountered a turtle named Flame Lily (identified by her tags) last summer, they were struck by her narrow and pointed beak, resembling more of a hawksbill sea turtle,  » Read more

More “Ah-Ha” Moments

 

Just as with SCCF and Captiva Cruises yesterday, our friends at “Ding” Darling have also done a great job inspiring young students from Southwest Florida.

With the help of their new mobile classroom, Ding’s summer outreach programs multiplied its conservation education programming reach to 15 times the number of students they had previously hosted through past traditional, on-site camp experiences.

A total of 1,243 students benefited from refuge educational efforts this summer.  » Read more

No Child Left On Shore

 

Earlier this summer, the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) and Captiva Cruises hosted 24 middle-schoolers from The Immokalee Foundation as part of their long-time No Child Left On Shore initiative.

The environmental education outreach program provides Southwest Florida youths with an informative and fun way to gain experiential knowledge about the ecology of the region’s marine environment.

Accompanied by foundation staff and SCCF environmental educator Richard Finkel,  » Read more

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