Before we knew it, our week of Ocean Adventures was over, but we had so much fun this week with our new friends learning about sea turtles, the ocean, and so much more that it’s hard to be sad about it!

The Greens (Mr. Dalton and Ms. Nicole)

Our last day was full of learning all about coastal habitats here on campus! We started the morning off with a lesson by Mr. Dalton on the zones of the open sea. We learned that different animals in different ocean layers have adaptations that are beneficial to their survival in each zone!

We took our knowledge and tested our art skills crafting posters with plants and animals we might find in the sunlight, twilight, and midnight zones.

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Afterwards, we learned all about coastal habitats, subtidal, intertidal and shore zones, and also talked about animals we might find here! We learned the sand on our beaches is mostly made up of broken up shells, quartz, and animal remains. We were eager to get outside, so we changed for the beach to go enjoy the outdoors after lunch!

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We even found a washback hatchling that we brought back to the center in a bucket of wet sand for rehab! Washback hatchlings are baby sea turtles that have used up their energy source (yolk sacs) and are too weak to fuel themselves out to the large sargassum mats where there’s food and protection for the first years of their lives. If they’re found after 9am, it’s a good idea to bring them to Loggerhead in a bucket of wet sand to help increase their chance of survival! On campus we sometimes give them fluids if they’re weak and distraught, and we hold programs for hatchling releases you can find online if interested!

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Following our trip to the beach, we came back inside for a snack, and a visitor presenter from Manatee Lagoon came to teach us all about manatees! We learned so much about their anatomy, lifestyle, migratory patterns, threats, diet, and how to help save them!

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We headed out for the turtle yard to say goodbye to our turtle friends, and packed up our bags with a smiles on our faces from the week!

The Loggerheads (Ms. Brooke and Ms. Abby)

Our last day was Predator and Prey themed, and we learned all day about the importance of predator and prey relationships that exist in the oceans!

To start off our day, Ms. Brooke gave us a presentation about the importance of predators (especially sharks) in the ocean ecosystem.

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We tried to show an example of the size of a whale shark by laying down and stretching out across the room, but we couldn’t all fit! Crazy to think they can get that big!

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Afterwards we did a fossil dig and were able to keep three of our fossil finds!

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Next, we went to the beach and while there we happened upon a washback sea turtle hatchling and brought it back to our hospital staff! While at the beach we also collected sargassum, and upon returning, we shook out the sargassum to look for organisms by eye and using the microscope.

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We found shrimp, crabs, file fish, and frog fish. It was an extremely fun, interesting end to a wonderful week! We’re looking forward to the rest of summer, but we’re going to miss camp!