On Saturday, Jan. 11, the American Express Everglades Forever Celebration Project will present "Everglades Day" at the Museum of Discovery and Science in Fort Lauderdale. The event, in which museum guests will be able to learn about Florida Everglades flora, fauna and the beauty of this unique environment through activities, speakers, and presentations, features numerous local and national experts showcasing the amazing river of grass.
Two of the featured presenters will be local high school students who will share their Everglades research in the Keller Science Theater at 2:30 p.m. Sara Orosio, a student at Felix Varela Senior High School, is currently a 2nd year intern with the Florida Coastal Everglades Long Term Ecological Research Program and a member of the South Florida Periphyton Group. Sara’s discussion is titled: Changes in Diatom Assemblages Along a Salinity Gradient in a Restored Mangrove Forest, based on the poster of the same title. Felipe Tamayo, a sophomore in the IPREP Magnet at Felix Varela Senior High School, 1st year intern, who is currently working under the direction of Dr. Jennifer Rehage and Ross Boucek of the Florida Coastal Ecological Research Program. His presentation, Exotic Invasive Fish of the Everglades discusses understanding the factors affecting the fitness of invasive and native fish in South Florida.
Another one of the highlights of the event will be a screening of “The Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition: Everglades to Okefenokee, a documentary film by Elam Stoltzfus about four explorers traveling 1000 miles in 100 days from the Everglades to the Okefenokee Swamp in southern Georgia. Screening starts at 12:30 p.m. in Keller Science Theater.
It wouldn't be a proper science museum exhibit without hands on experiments. The Everglades Lab Activities, from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m., include:
- Invasive Tracers - Florida is currently being invaded by a variety of non-native plants and animals. See what is being done to collect information on these alien invaders and what you can do to help.
- Florida Panther Masks -The Florida Panther is endangered and needs our help. Design a panther mask and learn what you can do to ensure their survival.
- Everglades Artifacts - Check out incredible artifacts from the Florida Everglades!
- Water Cycle - The water in the everglades is the most important element to its restoration. Create your own water cycle bag to see how water transforms the earth.
- Wood Stork Fishing - Wood storks have a very specialized way of catching their prey. See if you are as successful catching fish using Wood stork techniques.
- Habitat Twister - Finding the natural resources to survive in the Everglades can be extremely difficult. Play a game of Habitat Twister to see how well you will survive in a changing environment.
- Everglades Restoration - Tabletop materials will cover the current state of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Project (CERP).
The American Express Everglades Forever Celebration project, funded by the American Express Charitable Fund, was developed by the Museum of Discovery and Science and aims to introduce visitors to the Greater Everglades from Everglades National Park to Big Cypress Preserve, to the headwaters in the Kissimmee Basin in new, meaningful ways that will increase public engagement with this unique ecosystem and encourage appreciation and conservation.
The Everglades are a unique ecosystem that effect our daily lives here in Florida in ways we barely consider in our daily lives. Through exhibits such as these, we are able to get a glimpse at how this amazing river functions, how it effects the environment, and what we can do to help it survive into the future.
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