GTM Research Reserve Celebrates National Estuaries Day

Oct. 3, 2014

~Families participate in workshops and all-day activities~

GTM NED

A child enjoys fish printing at GTM’s National Estuaries Day celebration.

Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Herschel T. Vinyard Jr. joined more than 365 community members for Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve’s National Estuaries Day celebration, “FAMILY EcoMENTALITY.” Secretary Vinyard welcomed the crowd and discussed the area’s extraordinary natural resources on Saturday, Sept. 27 at the Environmental Education Center.

Every September, Restore America’s Estuaries and member organizations, the National Estuarine Research Reserve System, and the National Estuary Program organize special events across the country.

“This year’s event brought 365 residents to the reserve for family friendly workshops and three all-day activities,” said Michael Shirley, Ph.D., director of the GTM Research Reserve. “The activities provided everyone with the resources to implement environmentally inspired ideas at home.”

In addition to the GTM Research Reserve’s scheduled classes, there was a green-cleaning stand hosted by Flagler College, a fish-printing booth to create wearable art, the Spring Water Challenge offered by Florida DEP and “The Blue Balloon” book readings and signings.

More than a quarter century after the first National Estuaries Day in 1988, there is more evidence that estuarine ecosystems serve as natural barriers to buffer against storms and floods, absorb and store carbon, and provide critical habitat for commercial and recreational fisheries. The 2014 National Estuaries Day focused on increasing national awareness of estuaries and how estuary conservation efforts support our quality of life and economic well-being.

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