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Sea Camp at the University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Coast Research Lab is celebrating its 30th year this summer.
That is three decades of educating Gulf Coast children about the Mississippi Sound and the larger environment of the Gulf Coast.
“Children in 1st through 6th grades get hands-on experience learning about their local environment,” said Summer Dorcik, Marine Education Specialist with the GCRL. “We take them on several different field trips, so it’s all very hands on.”
One of such field trips involved taking some of the kids out on the water.
“We talked about the estuary and salinity and the Mississippi Sound,” Dorcik said. “After that we pulled a trawl and got a population sample of the animals that were in there, like shrimp, crab, baby white trout, and even an alligator gar.”
The GCRL’s Sea Camp is a series of one-week day camps, allowing different age groups different adventures.
“With the 1st graders, because they are younger, we tend to stay more on property with that group,” Dorcik said. ” For kids in 3rd through 6th grades they get to go to Ship Island on Thursdays, so they are really excited about that. Wednesdays 5th and 6th graders they actually go out on the Pascagoula River.”
But why send your child to Sea Camp?
“It’s something awesome if you are looking for an experience your kids will never forget or something that might help them decide they like science or being out in the environment and being a steward of the environment,” Dorcik said. “That’s something I think kids take away from this experience.”
For more information about Sea Camp, visit the GCRL website.