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"Heads Up" in July 2019 with the New Coral Chronicles!


Recently our interns Melissa, Claire, and Marissa joined South Broward High School for the annual OSTEM Summer Camp at NOVA Southeastern’s Oceanographic Center based in Dania Beach, Florida. This two-week summer program is designed to help students interested in Marine Science fields to experience more hands on learning.

The OSTEM Summer Camp has a different focus on issues facing marine ecosystems and unique ways to solve them from year to year.

This year’s focus was on coral restoration. CRF™ was lucky to join these bright students to educate them on the problems coral reefs are facing, not just in the Florida Keys, but world wide, as well as educate them about what we are doing to help restore Florida’s reefs.

Our interns presented the issues coral reef ecosystems are facing, particularly here in the Florida Keys, including human impact and development, ocean acidification, and increased sea surface temperatures due to climate change. This presentation was followed by a workshop with three hands on stations displaying techniques that we use for nursery work, outplanting corals, and monitoring outplanted corals.

Melissa, one of the amazing interns that presented at OSTEM said,

"It was an incredible experience to be able to take part in the OSTEM summer camp. Talking to these bright young students made me hopeful for the future, and really made me wish my high school had programs like this!"



During the warm summer months, CRF™ has the opportunity to get more involved in educational summer camps throughout South Florida. One particular summer camp is the Nature Exploration summer camp organized and hosted at the amazing Ocean Reef Club in North Key Largo.

There were nine happy campers that participated in workshops all day! Interns, Claire, Samantha, and Marissa led three hands-on workshops: coral anatomy, calcium carbonate, and coral slime. These edutainment lessons are a fun and active way to learn about coral's anatomy, the formation of a coral's exo-skeleton, and the coral's first line of defense: mucus!

Intern Samantha Simpson told us, “It was wonderful to spend time with young minds as they engaged in conversation about their environment and learned about important topics that will change how they view the ocean. We are grateful to Ocean Reef Club for facilitating an environment that allows young people to learn and hopefully give them a reason to care about nature. Ocean Reef Club’s summer camp is not limited to involvement with the ocean - they also expose their campers to terrestrial animals and allow them to form bonds with nature within safe and supervised conditions. One of the animals we were lucky to meet was this snake.”



Have you been to the Morada Way Art Walk yet? Are you interested in shopping for local art and jewelry while enjoying great food, drinks, and live music? Come visit us every 3rd Thursday at the Morada Way Cultural Arts District at 151 Morada way.

Every month we sell our tri-branded Kleen Kanteens, proceeds go to restoring the Florida Reef Tract and supporting the local arts scene, while also saving you 15% off your beer from The Florida Keys Brewing Company!


"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.

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