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Last updated: January 24, 2013

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Community Outreach/Volunteer Activities

The Ecosystem Restoration Section frequently utilizes the assistance of community volunteers in restoration projects throughout the Florida panhandle. Volunteers have participated in every facet of ERS activities, with our largest volunteer effort being Project GreenShores. In September 2007, over 250 scouts, community organizations, school groups and individuals assisted in the planting of the salt marsh islands at Site 2 in Pensacola Bay.

DEP Volunteers propagate Spartina marsh plants

One of the most important components to ERS is the fostering of environmental stewardship and education in the local community, especially in our area youth. Since 1999, ERS has partnered with students/teachers in the 3-year Marine Science program at Washington High School, where students have received hands-on training in techniques used in the marine sciences field including; investigating the origin of scallop die-offs in Big Lagoon, determining the effectiveness of different grass species in dune restoration (joint effort with Gulf Islands National Seashore), and a 2005 study to examine fish diversity at Project GreenShores site 1 and 2 (pre-construction). Last year, students conducted monitoring at Project GreenShores for fish diversity/abundance, plankton populations, sediments and currents and benthic invertebrates. Currently, students are conducting fish diversity/abundance surveys at Project GreenShores through March 2008.

 

ERS staff members are available throughout the year to conduct shoreline tours of Project GreenShores. This is a frequently requested activity for school groups of all ages and offers a hands-on education to estuarine habitats/functions and restoration. In 2007, over 500 students, both K-12 and university level, participated in Project GreenShores tours. In addition, ERS conducts presentations to community organizations on Project GreenShores as well as on restoration programs and projects in the area.     

 

We also offer internships to high school and college students/graduates to aid in gaining real world environmental experience.

 

Volunteers/interns are crucial to the success of the Ecosystem Restoration Section and are always in need. If you are interested in volunteering with ERS or a shoreline tour of Project GreenShores, please contact Beth Fugate for more information.

 

For more information, contact: Beth Fugate

 

 

 

   

 

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