The Cedar Key Woman’s Club seized the opportunity to “sea life” in a new perspective.
As guests of the UF Seahorse Key Marine Lab community outreach efforts, thirteen members of the CKWC recently visited Seahorse Key. Accompanied by Maria Sgambati, representing the UF Seahorse Key Marine Lab., Jessica Long, from the UF Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience, and Capt. Kenny McCain at the helm, the CKWC field trip proved to be as fun as it was informative.
While enjoying a picnic lunch from AdaBlue, members munched sandwiches and met with students and instructors in residence studying marine ecology on Seahorse Key. Maria Sgambati led the way to the Lighthouse and residence quarters, pointing out the pre-AC, cross-ventilation system and new, spacious kitchen renovations. Other activities included a nature trail, a guided beach walk, and an educational video presentation. Kenny McCain, as much a part of the natural habitat as sand and saltwater, arrived back with the boat and students, emptying the contents of their seine net catch into a large viewing tank. Students and CKWC members alike crowded round, totally absorbed in learning about puffer fish, starfish with tendril legs, sea cucumbers, and baby sand dollars among other marine life. Way too soon, it was time to leave.
One member commented that if she had had an opportunity such as Seahorse Key Marine Ecology Camp as a youth, it would have changed the direction of her life. Everyone came away with a greater appreciation of nature, wildlife, marine life, the UF Seahorse Key Marine Laboratory, and the many life-changing possibilities now made possible.
Photos by Catherine Dunlop