June 8 is World Ocean Day. I hope you celebrate by spending some time near the ocean and by learning more about the importance of the ocean and what we can do to preserve it – we have some ideas below to get you started.
The ocean is intertwined with the way of life in Florida. Locally, we enjoy it for recreation – beach days with the family, fishing or just enjoying the views. The ocean also supports our economy through tourism and fisheries. On a worldwide scale, ocean life produces more than half of the oxygen we breathe, and ocean currents regulate the global climate by absorbing energy and transferring warm and cool water around the planet.
The ocean relies on us to keep it healthy so it can continue to support us and an abundance of wildlife. We can all make an effort to reduce our reliance on single-use plastic, which is one of the main sources of ocean pollution. Remember to bring your reusable water bottle and shopping bags with you whenever you head out for the day. If you tend to eat out, bring a reusable container for your leftovers, or if you get takeout, keep a set of reusable cutlery with you and tell the restaurant that you do not need a single-use plastic set.
Another way that you can help the ocean is to educate yourself and share that knowledge with your friends, family and neighbors. The Florida Sea Grant and UF/IFAS Extension Flagler County are pleased to present a marine science summer series, which will be held the third Tuesday of each month from 9-10 am, each at a different Flagler County park.
The series will start off on June 21 at Bay Drive Park with “Turtle Talk.” Join us to learn about the species of sea turtles that nest and hatch on our Flagler County beaches, discover the challenges they must overcome to reach adulthood, and learn what we can do to make sure sea turtles continue to visit our beaches for years to come .
On July 19 We will meet at the River to Sea Preserve pavilion for “Creatures on the Beach” to learn about the smaller invertebrates that call our oceans and beaches home and identify some of the mysterious natural artifacts you may have found washed up on the beach.
We will wrap up the summer series on August 16 at Princess Place Preserve with “The Importance of Estuaries.” This is a unique location in the world, as it is one of the few places that are home to both salt marsh and mangroves. We will learn about the ecology of our coastal wetlands, including the species you can find here, their importance to both humans and animals, and how we can help preserve them.
These educational events are open to both adults and children. Events will take place outdoors, primarily under a covered area; However, for some events we may go on a short walk. Please wear appropriate footwear, insect and sun protection, and bring a reusable water bottle to keep yourself hydrated. Registration is not required, but if you have any questions, contact Carolyn Kovacs, UF/IFAS Sea Grant Extension Agent at the Flagler County Extension Office at 386-437-7464 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Extension programs are open to all persons without regard to race, color, sex, age, disability, religion, or national origin.