The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary is one of 14 marine protected areas in the U.S. and we are lucky to be able to zip down to Key Largo and see sharks, eagle rays, goliath groupers, midnight parrotfish, pillar corals, mountainous corals, and the list goes on! We will camp in tents at the Key Largo Kampground and head out on a snorkel boat each morning with Rainbow Reef Dive Center to study the reef. The afternoons will be spent conducting experiments and adventuring to find snorkel spots from shore.
However, this expedition to a coral reef environment is designed to do more than just teach facts and have an away-from-home experience. We also want you to have fun, gain valuable skills in camping, and wilderness survival. This week will hone in on outdoor skills, exploration, and species identification. We also want you to improve your skills in the water, learn to control your buoyancy, and become a better observer of the ocean.
Some of the questions you might ponder include:
How are coral reefs and seagrass communities connected?
We are just 80 miles from Sanibel, so why don’t we have coral reefs there?
Why are lettuce sea slugs bright green?
How might outdoor skills benefit me in my future?
How might reefs change in my lifetime?
Throughout the week we will have two groups – tent groups & day groups. You will find out your groups on the bus ride down to the keys. When we arrive at the campsite, the epic Tent Cup begins!! It is an ongoing competition throughout the entire week. Together, with your tent, you will compete in different games and activities each night to win points. You can also accumulate points throughout the day for good behavior or loose points for poor behavior. Staff will always throw in spontaneous opportunities to win points in addition to our traditional Tent Cup games. Who will take home this years brand new prize…