DISCOVERY Vessel River Queen
Biscayne Bay, FL
March 17, 2022
On Thursday, March 17, 2022, SeaKeepers collaborated with Miami WaterKeeper to host university students participating in an environmental service-driven spring break experience offered by Virginia Key Outdoor Center. Students from Dalton State University and Northeastern Illinois joined us for a morning on the water, where they learned about physical and chemical pollution through several hands-on activities.
Aboard DISCOVERY Vessel River Queen, operated by BJM Rentals, students started the excursion by discussing the history of Biscayne Bay and learning about the water quality issues facing the area. With this information, they performed assessments of the region from the boat by testing water quality, making visual observations, and exploring the seagrass beds using a SoFar Ocean Trident underwater drone. Water quality data was collected using Earth Echo kits and contributed to a long-term citizen science study by Earth Echo. After assessing chemical pollution in the Bay, students went to nearby Pelican Island to investigate another environmental hazard: plastic pollution. Students explored the island with gloves and buckets in hand and removed 64 lbs of trash from the area.
The excursion wrapped up with a discussion of the day's key findings. As always, we are incredibly grateful to Miami WaterKeeper and BJM Rentals for helping us facilitate these awesome learning experiences, and we are excited to continue working with Virginia Key Outdoor Center in the future!