November 1, 2018
Dear Upper Valley middle school students and parents of middle school students,
Have you ever wanted to explore your inner MARINE BIOLOGIST? For the fourth consecutive year, Crossroads Academy students have the opportunity to spend their spring break exploring MARINE ECOSYSTEMS in the Florida Keys! This year, however, I am opening up the trip to middle school students in the Upper Valley. Marine Lab, a not-for-profit educational institution (see www.marinelab.org) has been serving students ages 11-18 for 40+ years. It has its own small campus complete with a staff of marine-scientists, research boats for field trips, laboratories, dormitories, a cafeteria as well as all of the necessary snorkeling/dive gear for student-participants. You may ask: “What does one do at Marine Lab?” The answer is: “A lot and most of it involves being in a wet-suit.” Three-hour-long SNORKELING field trips to coral reefs, mangrove habitats and sea grass beds along with sea kayaking, marine-scientist led discussions and laboratory exercises are the activities that we engage in to gain knowledge and understanding of the complex ecology of these three distinct yet connected marine ecosystems. We also learn about various conservation methods that promote healthy sea grass beds and mangroves habitats, measures that can and do promote HEALTHY CORAL REEF SYSTEMS. And, something that I didn’t know but have learned through my studies at Marine Lab is that coral reef stabilization and preservation isn’t just about preserving beautiful places in the world for exploration and enjoyment. They’re actually extremely important for keeping ocean-fish-species’ populations stable, the same species that, when kept at adequate numbers, feed the world’s hungry. In addition, many of the world economies depend on the income that reliable commercial fishing brings if coral reefs are intact.
The Marine Lab trip will run from Wednesday 4/17 through Sunday 4/21. The cost is $1,800 (set up in three installments). If I’ve piqued your interest, come to the talk I’m giving about the trip on the evening of November 7th (see flier) or you may call or write me. I can be reached via phone at (248) 756-1881 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m happy to discuss details with you. Having taken students to Marine Lab 6 times before, I know that it is a wonderful experience, one that creates lifetime memories and one that inspires a lifelong love of marine science.