Seagrass Awareness Celebration

Seagrass

It’s not seaweed, it’s SEAGRASS and it’s ALIVE. Seagrass is one of the main building blocks for the extensive marine life we have here in the panhandle and around the world.

What: 11th Annual Seagrass Awareness Celebration

When: March 26, 2011
10:00 am until 2:00 pm

Where: Shoreline Park South, Gulf Breeze (Across from the Recreation center on Shoreline Drive)

Contact: Chris Verlinde 623-3868

chrismv@ufl.edu

Deborah Holland, 983-5359

Debbie.Holland@dep.state.fl.us

****Agencies, organizations, artists and vendors are invited to provide a display or activity for the 11th annual Seagrass Awareness Celebration. Enjoy this event by letting the community know about your group or organization! Please contact Debbie or Chris if you are interested in participating in this event!!!

Seagrass Awareness is an annual family orientated event held at Shoreline Park South in Gulf Breeze, Florida. This year activities will include live marine life in the touch tanks, “eat a seagrass bed,” seining, games, fishing, arts and crafts, boating safety, fishing, kayaking and more!

Bring a friend, lunch, water, sunscreen, hat, water shoes, lawn chairs and join us for a fun filled day!

Participating organizations include: The Environmental Education Coordination Team, University of Florida IFAS Extension: Florida Sea Grant Extension, Florida Master Naturalists, Florida Department of Environmental Protection: Office of Coastal and Aquatic Managed Areas, Ecosystem Restoration; Resource Rangers, and more!

March is Seagrass Awareness Month in Florida!

Seagrasses are a valuable part of the marine environment and support a thriving million-dollar fishery. Most commercial and recreationally important fish, crabs, and shrimp spend some time of their lives in seagrass beds. These grass beds help to filter toxins from the water, contribute to water clarity by trapping suspended sediments, provide food and shelter for juvenile fish, shrimp and crabs, provide food for manatees, green sea turtles, and migratory birds depend on seagrass beds for foraging needs! Threats to these important resources include: degraded water quality, dredge and fill projects, and physical impacts from boat propellers.

In our area, the “true” marine seagrass species include: shoal grass (Halodule wrightii), turtle grass (Thalassia testudinum), widgeon grass (Ruppia maritima), manatee grass (Syringodium filiforme), and some species of Halophia. In the upper parts of the bays, another ecologically important submerged aquatic plant is tape grass, (Vallisneria americana).

The term submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) is a general term that includes grasses found submerged in salt, brackish and fresh water environments.

“Seagrass . . .it’s alive” is the motto for this initiative. Get involved, and help spread the word about seagrasses this month! Be creative and provide educational opportunities for your friends, neighbors, fisher-people, boaters and those concerned about water quality.

Extension Service programs are open to all people without regard to race, color, sex, age, handicap or national origin.

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One Response to Seagrass Awareness Celebration

  1. Machelle Van Wie March 28, 2012 at 9:50 am #

    I will be there. Setting up my booth with several of my SeaScapes By Machelle Paintings. Please come by and check them out…I am also very experienced in the Native plants around this area. From beach plants, to wetlands, to Firelanes. I am currently seeking employment. I will have my resume available as well…thanks this is gonna be FUN in the Sun!