“You’re on Mute.” Teaching Ocean Conservation in 2020
You can take the kid out of the classroom, but you can’t take the desire to learn out of the kid. This year, we were challenged to present education in an unorthodox way and online. But while we found ourselves in what read like a bad science fiction book, we *met* lifelong learners along the way and all over the globe.
According to a study commissioned by One Poll, 11 percent of the Americans surveyed had not traveled outside of the state in which they were born. That is a sample just for the U.S. alone. Imagine what this looks like for our world as a whole and the little bit of information some people have about our coastal regions. But despite unfavorable circumstances, we were able to deliver critical information to viewers who otherwise wouldn’t be able to visit our Center during the pandemic. This includes countries such as Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, Australia, The United States, The United Kingdom, and Spain – to name a few.
Despite the challenges that the pandemic caused, we were able to still connect with lifelong learners and document several education highlights in 2020.
Virtual Coastal Classrooms
To that end, our education team rose to the occasion and brought a range of hard-hitting topics through our Virtual Coastal Classrooms, including microplastics, harmful algae blooms, updates on our patients, sustainable living, and more! And to our amazement, nearly 900,000 individuals joined us during our two-month physical closure.
Circumstances also couldn’t deter people from our educational activities during the nesting season. We were fortunate in that guests like you still had an insatiable appetite for illuminating activities such as our engaging turtle talks, hatchling releases, and sunrise nest excavations. With safety and health concerns in mind, smaller groups were in tow, but every learning opportunity (however small) is to our oceans’ advantage.
Unwrap the Waves
COVID-19 also couldn’t pump the brakes on some of the most beloved competitions our education department has to offer. For its fifth consecutive year, our educators presented the ever-popular Unwrap the Waves candy wrapper collection competition in partnership with Terracycle. This included schools and community partners spanning across Martin, Palm Beach County, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in our landfills and oceans. In a word or two, we are proud to say that this year’s competition was a resounding success.
In 2020, kids and community partners collected well over 150,000 candy wrappers. The initiative’s first-place winner was not a local, but our southwest neighbors at Oppe Elementary Magnet Campus of Coastal Studies in Galveston, Texas with 9,225 wrappers! While Theodore Roosevelt Elementary in Cocoa Beach, FL took silver with 6,100 wrappers.
And while the holidays took a different shape this year, we stuck to our tried and true blue traditions. This included hosting “Blue Friday,” which entailed coastal hikes, kayak cleanup tours on the Earman River and a medley of outdoor activities versus spending time in stores.
As our team understands, it’s been a trying time for each and every community and industry. But these are the moments when we cannot undermine or devalue the power of education and how it serves as a vehicle to navigate our way out of such difficult circumstances. Whether it’s finding the right formula for a magic bullet vaccine or developing treatments for healthier marine life – we owe it to education.
We can’t thank our supporters enough who have kept us in motion enabling us to document many education highlights this year. There are students whose futures are tied to your generosity and whose societal contributions are waiting to be shown. And as a free-admission nonprofit, we’re indebted to your contributions.
Holiday Sweepstakes. This year, LMC is offering the opportunity for supporters to potentially win holiday sweepstakes by buying prize tickets that support marine life and ocean conservation. Hopeful participants can submit their chance to win a Turtle Walk for five, a week of camp, and an Evening Guided Tour for five. Find sea-son greetings and giving at LMC! Submit yourself for any of the mentioned sweepstake drawings at give.marinelife.org/holidaysweepstakes.
Annual Fund. As we close on the year, we kindly ask that you tap into the giving spirit and donate a tax-deductible donation to our Annual Fund. With every dollar, you are helping us improve ocean water quality, reduce global marine pollution, and rehabilitate sick and injured sea turtles. Thank you for helping us start off strong in 2021 and making the holiday season a bit bluer!
Loggerhead Marinelife Center. Loggerhead Marinelife Center (LMC) is a nonprofit sea turtle research, rehabilitation, and educational institution that promotes the conservation of ocean ecosystems with a focus on threatened and endangered sea turtles. The Center features an on-site hospital, research laboratory, educational exhibits, and aquariums, and also operates the Juno Beach Pier, which hosts world-class angling and sightseeing. Situated on one of the world’s most important sea turtle nesting beaches, Loggerhead Marinelife Center is open daily and hosts over 350,000 guests free-of-charge each year. The Center’s conservation team works with 90 local and international organizations across six continents to form partnerships and share conservation initiatives and best practices that are core to its mission of ocean conservation. The Center is expanding and has launched its Waves of Progress capital expansion campaign, designed to accelerate and amplify LMC’s conservation and education impact. When complete, the facility will offer one of the world’s most advanced and unique experiences for guests and scientific partners. For more information, visit www.marinelife.org or call (561) 627-8280.