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The 13th Annual Seagrass Awareness Celebration

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Join local groups and organizations to protect water quality and coastal habitats!

Join us for the 13th annual Seagrass Awareness Celebration. 

The 13th Annual Seagrass Awareness Celebration free family event will be held at Shoreline Park South (across from the Recreation center on Shoreline Drive) in Gulf Breeze, Florida. The event will be held March 23, 2013 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

This year, activities will include live marine life in touch tanks, “eat a seagrass bed,” make a shark tooth necklace, seining, games, fishing, marine creatures, arts and crafts, food, displays, explore a seagrass bed, boating safety, fishing, kayaking and more!

Bring your family and friends, water, sunscreen, hat, water shoes, lawn chairs and join us for a fun filled day!

 March is Seagrass Awareness Month in Florida!

 Seagrasses are a valuable part of the marine environment and support our local economy. Most commercial and recreationally important fish, crabs and shrimp spend some time of their lives in seagrass beds! Not only do these underwater grass beds help keep water clean, but they also provide food and shelter for young fish, shrimp and crabs. Endangered species, such as manatees and green sea turtles, depend on seagrass beds for food! Seagrasses, clean water and natural resources play a vital role in the economy of NW Florida. To ensure a healthy environment and economy for future generations, let’s work together to limit our impacts on our natural areas! Come to the Seagrass Awareness

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Do your part to protect seagrasses:

While boating:

  • If you run aground in a seagrass bed, turn off your engine, tilt up the engine and walk or pole your boat out of the shallow water.
  • Be safe and know water depths and locations of seagrass beds by studying navigational charts.
  • Seagrasses are usually found in shallow water and appear as dark spots on the water.  Wear polarized sunglasses (to reduce glare) to help locate these areas.
  • Always choose to use a pump-out station.
  • Stay in marked channels.

 

At home:

  • To reduce pollution from entering our waterways, keep a buffer of plants along your shoreline. This will also help to protect your property from erosion and slow flood waters during storm events.
  • To save money, plant native plants that don’t require lots of fertilizers and pesticides.
  • Avoid seagrass beds when planning for dredging activities or pier construction.
  • Maintain septic tanks, before it is too late.

 

In your community:

  • Families and children can get out and snorkel these areas!  Many sites are easy to access from public parks.
  • Get involved with local organizations that promote nature protection.
  • Working together we can tell other community members what we have learned about seagrasses at the seagrass awareness festival.
  • Don’t litter!

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Contact:     Chris Verlinde 623-3868

                   UF/IFAS Santa Rosa County Sea Grant Extension

                   chrismv@ufl.edu

                   Office 850-623-3868

                   Cell 850-777-7884

 Extension Service programs are open to all people without regard to race, color, sex, age, handicap or national origin.

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://santarosa.ifas.ufl.edu/blog/2013/03/11/the-13th-annual-seagrass-awareness-celebration/