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We Have Been Busy! Here’s ANGARI’s February Outreach Highlights

February 2024 has been a busy one for ANGARI Foundation and our outreach team! We were lucky to have the opportunity to share marine science and our work at ManateeFest, TurtleFest and a Spring Training game at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium.

ManateeFest at Manatee Lagoon

The ANGARI team working with members of the public attending ManateeFest 2024, to measure Shelly the Shark.
Visitors to ManateeFest 2024 working with the ANGARI team to measure Shelly the Shark.

This year, ManateeFest took place on February 3 and both the weather and the manatees turned up for the occasion. This free, family-friendly event hosted by Manatee Lagoon, was their 8th annual event and attracted nearly 10,000 visitors throughout the day! The ANGARI team and our Coastal Ocean Explorers (COE): Sharks (COE: Sharks) lead scientist, Sara Casareto of Florida International University, were kept busy as we engaged and shared our program with the community members visiting our booth. We had two great activities lined up for event attendees, including experiencing what it is like to be a shark scientist by participating in a simulated shark workup with our inflatable shark named Shelly. Visitors of all ages were able to help collect a series of measurements from Shelly, and adorn her with a uniquely numbered identifier tag. They also explored and investigated sharks teeth from different local species via a matching game. We had an amazing time and we can’t wait to see what is in store for the 9th ManateeFest!

TurtleFest at Loggerhead Marinelife Center

Members of the public enjoying ANGARI's Generation Ocean: Coral Reefs 360 film at TurtleFest 2024.
A young viewer enjoying ANGARI’s Generation Ocean: Coral Reefs 360 film at TurtleFest 2024.

On February 24, the ANGARI team setup shop in the education area at Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s 19th annual TurtleFest! We spent the day talking coral science and sharing our Generation Ocean: Coral Reefs 360 film with attendees using our ClassVR headsets from Avantis Education. Our team had a great time bringing visitors on a virtual fieldtrip aboard R/V ANGARI to study reefs in the Florida Keys with scientists from National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. We discussed the nature of coral reefs and the threats they are facing with visitors, and younger attendees were particularly intrigued by our 3D printed coral polyp models we were using to demonstrate coral bleaching. These models are a fun resource tool developed by NOAA that are printed with thermally sensitive filament that allows them to turn white when warmed, providing a great visual for educating about the effects of warming water on corals. It was an inspiring and energizing Saturday all around and we are very much looking forward to next year!

Spring Training at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium

Visitors learning about marine science while attending the baseball game.
Visitors learning about marine science while attending a Spring Training game at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium.

To round off our busy February, we headed out to the Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium where we were able to engage with and share marine science with both the St. Louis Cardinals and Boston Red Sox fans who were in attendance. Our team had fun sharing our marine science research and education efforts with the fans, volunteers and staff who stopped by, and watching them strike a pose with ANGARI’s SCUBA diver photo opportunity painted by our talented artist and scientist friend, Gina Clementi. We loved sharing our message and work with everyone that attended and we hope they had a great day out at the ball park too!

Laura Jessop

Laura Jessop

I am an ocean enthusiast that has worked previously and continue to help at Local Ocean Conservation which is a non-profit organisation based in Kenya. I helped with the efforts of protecting sea turtles that have been caught as by-catch in the Indian Ocean. I help them digitalise and manage over 20 years worth of data that they have collected. Currently I am a remote intern here at ANGARI and very excited to help with the amazing work they conduct.

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