FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Sept. 26, 2013
APALACHICOLA RESEARCH RESERVE INVITES FLORIDIANS TO GET INVOLVED IN NATIONAL ESTUARIES DAY
activities celebrate “Where Rivers Meet the Sea”~
A look at the pristine beach of Apalachicola NERR, which will celebrate National Estuaries Day with free activities that teach the importance of protecting estuaries.
EASTPOINT–The Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserves, managed by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, invites Floridians
to celebrate National Estuaries Day on Friday by learning more
about estuary habitats and wildlife at events taking place at the Reserve.
most productive ecosystems on Earth, estuaries serve as nurseries for fish and
shellfish and provide vital nesting and feeding grounds for coastal birds, sea
turtles and marine mammals. Governor Rick Scott proclaimed
Sept. 23-29 as National Estuaries Week, in recognition of the
important role estuaries play to both Florida’s environment and economy. Of Florida's 20 major population centers, 15 are located in
coastal counties around a bay, estuary or at the mouth of a river that flows
into the ocean.
encourage our residents and visitors to enjoy these unique ecosystems
throughout the year, and to help preserve and protect them,” said Kevin Claridge, Director of Florida's Coastal Office. “Florida's estuaries are vital to coastal communities,
providing millions of dollars through tourism, recreational sport fishing and
Last year, more than 800 people visited
the Reserve on National Estuaries Day, many of them schoolchildren. The first
500 to arrive Friday will receive a free t-shirt, courtesy of the Friends of
“National Estuaries Day is a wonderful
opportunity for Floridians to celebrate and learn more about these important
ecosystems,” said Lee Edmiston, Director of the Reserve at Eastpoint, a field
site of the Office of Coastal and Aquatic Managed Areas. “I encourage
Floridians to participate by doing something positive to help protect our
estuaries, or learning more about the crucial role they play in Florida’s
future and the health of our oceans.”
Estuaries Day began in 1988 as part of Coast Week to educate the public on the
importance of estuaries and the need to protect them. The annual event has
matured into a national campaign with festivities taking place across the country, including four
in Florida. National Estuaries Day is a nationwide event encouraging the
protection and preservation of aquatic environments where freshwater bodies enter the sea.
Apalachicola NERR will host free educational activities including a cast net
game, touch tanks, animal track scavenger hunt, an ocean bingo game, and an
oyster tonging game, and much more. Staff will conduct a door prize drawing at 6 p.m. Please call
the number below for more information.
Apalachicola National Estuarine
Friday, Sept. 27
2:30 - 6
National Estuarine Research Reserve is managed by the Florida Department of
Environmental Protection’s Office of Coastal and Aquatic Managed Areas in
cooperation with the NOAA.The facilities include a Nature Center, labs, and
spaces for education. The Apalachicola estuary serves as an outdoor classroom
and laboratory for students and scientists from around the world.