Tampa Bay Watch, located in Tierra Verde on Cunningham Key and the approach to Fort DeSoto, provides the ideal location for summer marine science camps for kids.
Younger children attend morning "Sea Monkey" sessions. They love to snorkel and explore. Caleb Potter, 6, was thrilled to see animals, and his older sister Kalani uncovered sand dollars.
The older crowd, 9- to 14-year-olds, spends the entire day in "Discovery Camp." One highlight of the experience is "seining." Campers and instructors drag a large net through the water collecting plant and animal samples.
Senior environmental educator Andy Lykens explains the objective: "We're trying to see what species we have. We're checking for biodiversity any indicator species... the dwarf sea horses that we have are an indicator species of healthy water quality and healthy habitat."
Camper Brittany D'Atrio was thrilled to discover a sea horse and go kayaking for the first time ever. "It's really fun. You really get to experience a lot and learn a lot of new things."
The ultimate vision for Tampa Bay Watch summer camps: Show and teach as much as possible about our marine environment, to create a lifelong appreciation of the resources in our own backyard. Ideally, this summer's campers will be tomorrow's stewards.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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