Junior SeaKeepers Floating Classroom

Miami, Florida
February 11, 2024


On Sunday, February 11, 2024, SeaKeepers Education hosted 11 of our 20 Junior Seakeepers 23-24 cohort students aboard DISCOVERY Yacht River Queen in Biscayne Bay. To begin our day, we joined River Queen and made our way up Biscayne Bay to Oleta River State Park while discussing how the local watershed functions and results in different types of pollution in the bay, as well as how it can impact local wildlife and public health. Once near the mouth of Oleta River, students were able to participate in water quality testing using our Earth Echo testing kits, which we use to discuss the changing conditions in the Bay and how those changes can impact the ecosystems there. We were happy to see that the winter season and colder water temperatures are bringing the average dissolved oxygen concentration in the Bay back up to healthier levels than what we were seeing throughout 2023.

While evaluating our water tests, D/Y River Queen traveled back through the Bay to Sandspur Island, one of the most visited islands in Miami and one of the only that has city trash cans and removal services on an infrequent basis. Even so, in only 1 hour, participants were able to collect 29.2 lbs of coastal debris that could have otherwise directly entered waterways! 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 environmental recommendations.

Outing Goal

By attending floating classroom outings, Junior SeaKeepers can take lessons they are learning from webinars, workshops, and cleanups and apply them directly to the local natural environment. In this floating classroom, we hope students were able to better understand how environmental and public regulations are created to keep our watersheds healthy. As always, we aim for students to leave experiences with us with a better understanding of how their everyday choices impact the world around them, and, therefore, how their conscious actions every day can create a better natural world for their future.

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