Floating Classroom with Pelican Harbor Seabird Station
DISCOVERY Yacht River Queen
Biscayne Bay, Florida
February 26, 2023
On Sunday, February 26th, 2023, The International SeaKeepers Society partnered with Pelican Harbor Seabird Station to host a group of 23, 5th grade students and parents from Lehrman Community Day School aboard DISCOVERY Yacht River Queen. We met our students and chaperones at Pelican Harbor Seabird Station, where Sam Martinez, PHSS’s Environmental Educator, gave us a tour, introduced us to some ambassador animals like owls, hawks, turtles, and even a rehabilitated opossum! Students were also given the opportunity to feed PHSS’s pod of locally rescued ambassador pelicans (under close professional supervision). After completing our tour we joined River Queen and made our way down Biscayne Bay to the mouth of Little River while discussing how the local watershed functions and results in different types of pollution in the bay, and how it can impact local wildlife like birds, reptiles, mammals, and even butterflies. Our students from West Miami Middle were excited to discuss the impacts urban areas have on adjacent waterways, and were even rewarded by sighting some local seabird species including a great blue heron, cormorants, and crested tern! As always, we disembarked on Pelican Island, this time to identify potential habitats for local fauna like seabirds - but, of course (you know us), we left with about 50 lbs of trash to round out our trip. We were lucky enough to finish our trip by viewing the release of a rehabilitated red-shouldered hawk from the Seabird Station! The Pelican Harbor Seabird Station was a dream to work with and we were so thrilled to have the opportunity to bring students from Lehrman Community Day School out on the water with the invaluable help of our DISCOVERY Yacht River Queen.
We hope that these students were able to leave the floating classroom with a better understanding of how pollution impacts our waterways, wildlife, and how we can prevent different types of pollution in our everyday lives. We had such a great time and hope to host Lehrman Community Day again in the future!