Florida Sea Grant Extension in Collier County

Welcome to the Collier County Sea Grant Extension Blog

This blog is an opportunity for me to share with you my extension outreach efforts and useful information to make you a more informed coastal citizen. If you have any questions about what you see, feel free to contact me at fluech@ufl.edu.

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Friday, July 23, 2010

National Marine Educators Assocation Conference: Gatlinburg, TN

I just got back from Gatlinburg, Tenneessee, where I presented  at the National Marine Educators Assocation (NMEA) conference. I know Tennessee might seem like an odd choice to hold a marine education conference, but you have to remember that 1)  in terms of geologic history (millions of years agao) Tennessee has spent much of its time underwater as a ocean, and 2) a lot of that fresh water that comes out of the Appalachian Mountains eventually makes it was down to the Gulf. Therefore, it makes perfect sense! It was a great conference and as always its hard not to get energized about your profession when you are around so many talented and passionate educators. If you are a marine educator and are not familiar with NMEA, I highly reccomend looking into it.
One of our evening receptions was as at the Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies. I have to admit I was skeptical about what to expect, but it turned out to be an amazing facility!! If you are ever in that region, I would go. They have some huge sharks, sawfish, sting rays, and crabs on display, as well as a very cool penguin exhibit.
  I gave two presentations at the conference. I co-presented with Dawn Millier-Walker from Environmental Conservation Organization (ECO) about our efforts with creating and distributing personal-sized fishing line recycling bins to fishermen to help reduce the amount of used line that ends up in the marine environment. I also presented on my afterschool marine dissection program I've been doing for the past couple of years with migrant students at Manatee Middle School in East Naples.   Hopefully, I'll get to make next year's conference in Boston, MA.

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