Floating Classroom with Surf Skate Science

DISCOVERY Yacht River Queen
Biscayne Bay, Florida
May 15, 2023


On Monday, May 15th, 2023 The International SeaKeepers Society's Education team partnered with Pelican Harbor Seabird Station to host a group of 25 multi-age homeschool students and parents through Surf, Skate, Science aboard DISCOVERY Yacht River Queen in Biscayne Bay. To begin our day, 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. Once up the Little River, students and parents were able to participate in water quality testing using our Earth Echo testing kits, which we used to discuss the changing conditions in the Bay and how those changes can impact the ecosystems there. While performing and evaluating our water tests, DISCOVERY Yacht River Queen traveled back through the Bay to Pelican Island, where students were able to collect over 41.8 lbs of coastal debris in just 45 minutes! To end our day, we brought students and chaperones to Pelican Harbor Seabird Station, where Amanda Burke of PHSS gave us a tour, and introduced us to some ambassador animals like owls, hawks, pelicans, and opossums! We finished the day with a wrap-up discussion about how our daily choices can impact the world around us and the many different things that we as individuals can do to help keep wildlife and our planet healthy and thriving, including reducing our waste production, minimizing greenhouse gas emissions, and following local wildlife recreation guidelines.

Outing Goal

The goal of this floating classroom outing was to leave the Surf Skate Science students with a better understanding of how pollution impacts our waterways and wildlife, and how we can prevent different types of pollution in our everyday lives. We had such a great time and hope to work with Pelican Harbor Seabird Station and Surf Skate Science again in the future!

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