Our Mural Painting Activity in 2011 and 2012 was so popular, we did it again this year. This year's mural actually focused on our the kelp forests of our West Coast sanctuaries: Channel Islands, Monterey Bay, Gulf of the Farallones, and Olympic Coast.
A new activity this year was the Sea Turtle Obstacle course, originally developed for the Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council's Sea Turtle Saturday event. This gave kids a chance to run around and burn energy while learning about the life cycle of sea turtles and the perils they face. It was a hit!
The following pictures highlight activities captured by Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary staff throughout the day.
Click on a picture below to see a larger, hi-resolution image
Photo credits: FGBNMS/Drinnen
Sanctuary Displays & Activities
Information and activities about the sanctuary were displayed throughout the ballroom at sanctuary headquarters. These were the first display areas visible from the entrance.
The first display inside the ballroom showed bathymetric maps of the three sanctuary banks and some of the wildlife treasures found there.
Visitors interested in the regional perspective could learn about the important people after whom many of the northwestern gulf banks were named.
F. Stearns MacNeil was just one of the influential Gulf of Mexico researchers to have a bank named after him.
Specimen samples have been an important science tool over the decades. These were colleted by Texas A&M researchers over the years.
The coral reefs at Flower Garden Banks have been around for several thousand years, but Bill Kiene talked to guests about other types of organisms that built even older reefs in Texas' past.
Yesterday's trash--picked up on a beach in Galveston the day before on what appeared to be a relatively clean beach.
Visitors were stunned by what we found in just 45 minutes in an area about the size of a football field.
A sign by the pile of trash reminded visitors that it came from their beach!
Exhibits and activities filled our ballroom from one corner to the next.