Florida Sea Base Conservation Programs
World Organization of Scouting SCENE Centre
Scout Centre of Excellence for Nature and Environment (or SCENES), is an initiative of the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM). SCENE Centres are recognized because of their commitment to environmental management practices and educational programs focused on the promotion of environmental stewardship and sustainability. WOSM boasts 26 SCENE Centres worldwide including two in North America, one of which is at the Florida National High Adventure Sea Base.
An active Project Aware member, recognized by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as a Blue Star operator (a designation given for commitment to environmental education and stewardship), Sea Base collects and shares data with the Reef Environmental Education Foundation, Mote Marine Laboratory, Dolphinfish Research Program, and NOAA through a variety of citizen science projects. Each Sea Base adventure allows for elements of conservation, learning, and personal growth.
The Scouting SCENE Award is offered by Sea Base in conjunction with WOSM to units that pursue onsite conservation and education opportunities as well as take part in conservation-based projects in their local communities.
STEM ECO Adventure
The STEM ECO Adventure is the progeny of the first science at sea program offered by Sea Base in the mid-1980s. Today, participants learn to apply geometry and algebra for navigation, understand physics to harness the aerodynamics and hydrodynamic forces of wind and water under sail, use phytoplankton tows to gather microorganisms to be viewed via microscopes and flat-panel screens, learn and explore the entire Florida Keys ecosystems, and gain understanding of human impact upon the marine environment. In 2015, underwater robotics was introduced into the STEM ECO Adventure. Data collected is shared with NOAA’s Coral Reef Watch, NOAA’s Phytoplankton Monitoring Network, and beginning in 2016, with the Reef Environmental Education Foundation and Mote Marine Laboratory.
Brinton Environmental Center Programs and Projects
Every Brinton Environmental Center participant taking part in either the Out Island or Keys Adventure program completes a conservation project. Projects include: removal of invasive species, beach restoration, monitoring and reporting coral bleaching, and marine debris collection. Marine debris collected on Big Munson Island is weighed and categorized. Correlating data is shared with Mote Marine Laboratory, which uses the data to calculate the amount of marine debris washing ashore in the surrounding area.
Beginning in the summer of 2016, Brinton Environmental Center participants will have the opportunity to catch and tag mahi (dolphinfish) in conjunction with the Cooperative Science Services Dolphinfish Research Program.
Sea Base Scuba Programs and SCENE Projects
Sea Base is a member of Project Aware and recognized as an NOAA Blue Star Operator. Scuba participants have the opportunity, at their choosing, to participate in specialty education courses including marine debris education and sharks in peril. Sea Base scuba participants also have the opportunity to participate in fish counts. Data collected is shared with the Reef Environmental Foundation.
Order of the Arrow Ocean Adventure
This 10-day OA program provides an array of service opportunities that include work helping to develop the Florida Keys Heritage Trail, removing invasive species in and around the Sea Base’s Big Munson Island, and supporting both the Crane Point Nature Center and Marathon Wild Bird Center in preserving flora, fauna, and wildlife. Participants camp at Big Munson Island and Crane Point during the service portion of the program, after which they live aboard a sailing yacht for four days at sea. While afloat, participants will experience the fun and excitement of life in the Keys from the unique perspective of a sailor as you sail, snorkel on pristine coral reefs, troll for sportfish, and swim in the warm waters of the Keys. In the midst of this adventure, participants also learn to identify and report coral bleaching in concert with Mote Marine Laboratories.