Today was an exciting day for Junior Marine Biologist Camp. The Leatherbacks and the Greens were on campus today, while the Loggerheads were at the Jonathan Dickinson State Park. The Leatherbacks had their predator day! They started the morning off learning about predators of the ocean, then we went into the Sharks and Rays PowerPoint. The campers learned about each predator (sharks and rays) and how they impact the ecosystem. For each shark and ray we learned about in the presentation, the campers were able to see a real life jaw of that animal. They were even able to carefully touch the jaws! After that, we washed our hands and ate lunch. We then took a trip down to the beach for a plankton tow. Each camper was able to practice collecting the plankton! We then came back inside to cool off and look at the plankton we caught under the stereoscope. After we finished identifying plankton, the campers did an activity where they sifted for shark teeth. They then were able to take the shark teeth to make a necklace that they decorated with beads of their choosing. We all then took a trip to the exhibit hall to perform a scavenger hunt, where the kids looked for different facts around the exhibit hall. The day ended with a fish feeding and a tour around the fish tanks. The Greens also had a great day. Today the Greens spent their second day of camp exploring coastal habitats and the importance of balance in an ecosystem. The morning began by diving deep into learning about the layers of the ocean. Campers learned the ocean zones song from Finding Nemo, and they created their own crafts naming the photic, bathyl, and abyssal zones as well as what animals reside in them. Afterward, Miss Megan gave a talk on mangroves and what species rely on them. We then headed to the beach after lunch to play in the surf before returning to the center where Miss Nicole gave a presentation on fish identification of popular fish in Florida’s reef systems, and the campers created their own “fishy adaptations” worksheets based on what they learned. The Greens had a great day! Loggerheads went on their field trip to Johnathon Dickinson State Park today! The first stop was the observation tower, where they learned about the Florid Scrub, controlled fires (we saw one in action!), and all of the animals inhabiting the dunes. They then played on the playground and ate lunch. After lunch, the campers went kayaking on the Loxahatchee River.  Despite the short rain shower, the Loggerheads had a ton of fun learning about mangroves and seeing flying fish! Finally, they headed off to the nature center to learn more about the area. They even were lucky enough to be able to see and touch the Florida Pine Snake named JD! The Loggerheads had a great field trip!

Overall, everyone had a great day at JMB Camp. We are excited for another day of camp! The Greens will have their field trip tomorrow, while the Loggerheads will learn about predators and the Leatherbacks will learn about coastal habitats.