With nearly 800 visitors, and a wealth of activities to choose from, the annual Estuary Day Friday kept the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve buzzing all afternoon.
A total of 356 schoolkids and 433 adults enjoyed everything from buttonmaking to mystery quest tattoos, overseen by 26 ANERR staffers, 18 student volunteers and 74 adult volunteers, from groups that included the Office of Resilience and Coastal Protection, The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s black bear and lionfish programs, WFSU Outreach, Florida State University Saturday at the Sea, Gulf Specimen Marine Lab, University of Florida IFAS Extension Franklin County, St. Vincent National Wildlife Reserve, the Florida Wild Mammal Association, and Dr. Julian Bruce St. George Island State Park.
In the main building upstairs could be found the t-shirt giveaway, the ‘What on Earth is it?” game, the Friends of the Reserve membership drive, the microplastics game, button making and appearances by Finley the Dolphin.
Downstairs could be enjoyed touch tanks, Mystery Quest tattoos, Doofy the pelican, and a blue crab molting demonstration.
At Millender Park, the Franklin County Schools Odyssey of the Mind team raised money by handling refreshments, while WFSU did Fashion A Fish, the cast net and turtle hurdles games and wacky waterfront races delighted everyone, there was plenty to learn about black bears, small fry sea turtle hatchlings and lionfish, and budding artists could take part in making gyotaku fish prints.