Today was an exciting first day of the Turtle Adventure Camp here at the Loggerhead Marinelife Center. Our three different groups (The Loggerheads, Greens, and Leatherbacks) all did similar activities on the first day. The campers learned many new things and did some awesome activities (we had fun despite the rain!) They learned about the different types of sea turtles living in our area, the sea turtles living at this facility and what brought them here, what makes a turtle a turtle, the history of our facility, the history of the Archelon and turtle evolution, facts about the keystone species the Gopher Tortoise, and much more. Along with those learning experiences, Stream2Sea company came over and talked to our campers about the importance of using sunscreen without Oxybenzone (which is harmful to our coral reefs) and other common ingredients that are bad for the environment and human health. In addition, our campers received a private tour of the turtle hospital on site, performed Gopher Tortoise data collection, and completed scavenger hunts around the facility.
Tomorrow will be the first day the groups are separated to go on their own adventures! The Loggerheads (6-9) are excited for their field trip to Johnathan Dickinson State Park to learn about wildlife identification, take a trail hike, and to go on a kayak excursion. The Greens (6-9) will be learning about coastal habitats, how to identify fish, the different zones of the sea (with a little help from Finding Nemo), how to use a dichotomous key, and much more surrounding habitats and the fish who call them home. Last, but not least, our oldest group, the Leatherbacks (10-13) will be having predator day. This is an anticipated day for all campers. They learn about the predators of the sea through shark and ray presentations, fossil digs, Plankton tows, stereoscope observation, sargassum collection, eel and lionfish feeding, and much more. Everyone is ready and enthusiastic about tomorrow!