LOOKING ALIVE WITH CAMP LIVE OAK!
Recently our interns Sabine and Matt had the pleasure of welcoming a group of campers from Camp Live Oak located in Ft. Lauderdale and Dania Beach to our very own Education Center in Key Largo. Camp Live Oak is committed to providing a nurturing setting that will enhance a child’s self-worth, confidence, and a profound appreciation of nature.
Coral Restoration Foundation™ was more than happy to contribute to those values and take these campers on a journey of exploring the Florida Reef Tracts and educate them about the ways that coral reefs and restoration supports our ecosystems. At our Exploration Center, campers were able to explore both local and global stressors affecting corals, as well as how CRF™ employs restoration efforts to grow corals back on the reef tract.
Students were also able to explore ways that they can make a difference to help negate some negative effects of these stressors as well as ways to make a positive impact on the environment.
Matt, the intern who joined for the presentation said,
“It was the largest group I’ve ever seen at the EC! I was happy to see so many future ocean ambassadors engaged with the coral restoration mission.”
We look forward to seeing what these bright young students do in the future!
SCOUTING FOR THE CORALS!
Every summer, we look forward to joining the girl scouts in a snorkel program to educate the scouts on marine conservation and the issues facing coral reefs around the world. This summer, Melissa and Olivia joined a mix of scouts from troops all over south Florida for a day of exploring at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park.
The morning started with a walk through the Wild Tamarind trail, while discussing why mangrove systems and hardwood forest are important for a balanced ecosystem in coastal areas. In the afternoon, we accompanied the scouts on a tour of the Pennekamp aquarium followed by a presentation about our mission at CRF™ to restore our reefs from the devastating degradation of our very own Florida Reef Tract over the past 40 years.
Although our plan was to join the scouts for an afternoon snorkeling trip, weather doesn’t always comply. Unfortunately, this was one of those days. Despite the three foot seas, one snorkeler braved the rough conditions for a fun day on the water.
Melissa, who led the Girl Scouts, said,
“It was really incredible to talk to these bright young girls. They truly showed interest in what is devastating our reefs, and they were very knowledgeable about a lot of the stressors facing our reefs. It gives me hope to see that the next generation is so passionate about conservation!”
GETTING FROSTY WITH CORALS!
This past week, CRF™ joined the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science’s Eco Engineering summer camp. The week long camp focused on how students can get innovative, problem solve challenges in our environment, and find ways to take better care of the planet.
CRF™ discussed the problems facing reefs throughout the world, as well as specific local stressors that caused the decline of the Florida Reef Tract and how CRF™ is actively restoring reefs. After that, the students were split into groups to brainstorm creative ways to combat the biggest problem with our Coral Tree™ design: it’s mostly made of plastic!
As a marine conservation organization, CRF™ is always striving to find innovative ways to be more sustainable while also engaging and inspiring the public. These students thought of creative ways to use natural and coral friendly materials to design an innovative Coral Tree™ that is more sustainable for our oceans. They also learned about the realities of needing to employ affordable and readily available resources for our conservation efforts!
FUTURE OCEAN AMBASSADORS!
Project Green Schools partnered with CRF™ for this year's Ocean Ambassadors Camp! This three-day summer camp focused on educating campers on how to communicate issues threatening our oceans via film production to inspire others and share their personal message with the world.
The students learned about coral anatomy through a hands on workshop with us and visited our very own Elbow Nursery to experience our work in the nursery and see where our corals come from for outplanting. Students focused on capturing images that would inspire people to learn more about ocean conservation and change their habits to support coral reefs.
We hope these students will use what they learned over the long weekend to have a positive impact and influence others on the importance of keeping our oceans clean and healthy!
"Heads Up" Editorial Intern
Melissa was raised on a farm in the countryside of Germany and grew to love all animals from an early age. She became SCUBA certified at 16 years old and took a field course in coral reef biology based in the British Virgin Islands during college. After these experiences, she soon became fascinated with a less conventionally yet loveable animal- corals. She became a CRF™ intern in the summer of 2018, and is back as the Broward County Intern after a break to finish her BS. in Marine Biology at the College of Charleston. Melissa hopes to not only make an impact on coral reefs via hands on restoration, but also by educating the public about the stressors facing corals and our planet.