As a Christmas present to each other, Bruce and I decided that we would get a family membership to the Florida Oceanographic Society, located here in Stuart.
"Florida Oceanographic Society is a non-profit organization founded in 1964 with the mission to inspire environmental stewardship of Florida’s coastal ecosystems through education, research and advocacy.
Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center is a 57-acre marine life nature center located on Hutchinson Island in Stuart, FL situated between the Indian River and the Atlantic Ocean. As a leading state and nationally recognized environmental organization, Florida Oceanographic offers EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS to people of all ages and conducts RESEARCH and RESTORATION programs that lead to healthy coastal ecosystems.
JOIN US in our mission "to inspire environmental stewardship of Florida's coastal ecosystems through education, research and advocacy” today." https://www.floridaocean.org/p/3/about-us#.WIiJfzYrJzQ
Now that we can visit the center whenever we want, we are able to take advantage of its walking trails, salt-water lagoon, and on-going educational programs.
On a recent trip, it seemed to be "arachnid day"! Spiders are not my favorite thing, but at a distance, they are quite fascinating.
|Basilica Orb Weaver|
|At least a dozen overhead|
|Some type of "fly"|
|Spiny Orb Weaver|
Oyster Shell Recycling and Reef Restoration
"Weekly shell collections from local partner restaurants generate nearly 2.5 tons of oyster shell per month. The shells are quarantined and then bagged by staff and volunteers and deployed to create new oyster-shell reefs in the Indian River Lagoon and St. Lucie River estuaries. Their progress is monitored using cutting-edge acoustic technology. These efforts help restore important oyster habitat, leading to long-term and significant improvements to the health of our waterways.
To date, Florida Oceanographic Society has restored nearly 60,000 square feet of oyster reefs in the St. Lucie Estuary and Indian River Lagoon. This was made possible by the help of over 2,400 volunteers and over 6,000 volunteer hours."https://www.floridaocean.org/p/19/florida-oceanographic-oyster-restoration-fl-o-o-r#.WIiI_DYrJzQ
The 750,000 gallon salt-water lagoon
Along the trail
|Black Mangrove Roots|
|Ibis, rooting about in the mangrove for crustaceans.|
|A wonderful spot to visit and support.|