FSUCML Open House - April 25, 2015

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The FSU Coastal & Marine Laboratory will hold its next Open House Event on April 25, 2015 from 10 am to 3 pm. It only happens every other year, so mark your calendars! From tiny tots to the most mature adults and those of us who never quite grew up -- there will be something to educate, fascinate and entertain everyone!

Restoring Resiliency, Protecting Our Oceans & Coastlines

Five years ago, the Deepwater Horizon Blow Out brought global attention to the Gulf of Mexico, and intense focus on the effects of the oil spill on biological diversity and the interconnected habitats extending between the coastline and the deep sea. We watched as some coastal habitats seemed to recover quickly while others in the deep sea remain affected even now, and we asked whether this was the worst thing that had ever happened in the Gulf. History quickly reveals that the oil spill has much competition for the number one spot, from overfishing, agricultural and industrial pollution, and habitat loss due to development and poor coastal management practices. The dead zone off Louisiana, the increasing levels of mercury in fish, and the erosion of wetlands even in the Florida Big Bend - a relatively undeveloped area - all affect the resiliency and health of the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem.

Resilience is the capacity of nature to absorb disturbance and still retain its basic structure and function. It is the cornerstone of sustainability. Systems that are biologically diverse are more resilient. Think of our local habitats -- seagrass meadows, oyster reefs, saltmarshes, and other wetlands that protect their inhabitants, retain sediments and dampen storm surge, filter the air and water of pollutants, and fix carbon, thereby helping to curtail carbon dioxide buildup in the atmosphere while capturing nutrients for plant growth. These highly productive, vulnerable systems are responsible for this entire suite of services operating beneath our very noses.

What we sometimes fail to recognize is that we humans are an integral part of the ecosystem. We are among the many beneficiaries of all the services that coastal and marine ecosystems have to offer, wholly dependent upon them for our survival, and largely responsible for their current condition. We bear the brunt of the effects that lost resilience imposes on natural capital and on human health and economies.

Active engagement in protecting our oceans and coastlines is something we all can do. We celebrate that ability and our scientific knowledge of the sea in our 2015 Open House, “Restoring Resiliency, Protecting Our Oceans & Coastlines.” Please join us on April 25th, 2015 for a day at the lab with family and friends.

Highlights of the event will include:

  • Tours of our 65-ft research vessel, APALACHEE
  • Displays and activities presented by the scientists on their research
  • Activities Presented by Saturday-at-the-Sea (SATS)
    • Salty Seas
    • Hard Luck Stories
    • Touch Tanks
    • Thar She Blows! (sperm whale exhibit)
    • Irradiation Station (orient yourself with critters that naturally protect themselves from the sun)
    • Fishy, fishy, fish.....
  • Search for prizes using an ROV
  • Snail races
  • Interactive displays by scientists from FSU and Florida conservation agencies
  • "In the Know" Talks in the FSUCML Auditorium
  • Scavenger hunt for the kids
  • Food available for purchase from a local vendor
  • Showing of the documentary “Saving Sawfish”, featuring Dr. Dean Grubbs
  • The ever popular snail races

Gather your friends, family, neighbors, colleagues, and associates, and take a beautiful drive down to the coast for a day of fun! Can't wait to see you again!

If you are interested in sponsoring, volunteering, or setting up an exhibit at our Open House, please contact our Outreach Coordinator, Tory Walker at twalker3@fsu.edu (850-697-3887) and she can provide you with more information