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Released March 31, 2003

SCOTT AQUARIUM HOSTS SUMMER "WATER SAFARI"

BILOXI -- Campers ages 5-16 will be exploring the exotic and unusual in local waters on "Water Safari," the 2003 edition of Project Marine Discovery Sea Camp at the J.L. Scott Marine Education Center and Aquarium in Biloxi this summer.

The University of Southern Mississippi marine science day camp will unveil two major new activities on "exotics large and small," and will offer a new take on such old favorites as field trips, computer lab, art and music. Also on the agenda is an "Exotic Friday Fun Day" of food, games and celebration of the week together.

"Children have an almost insatiable curiosity about the oceans and things out of the ordinary," PMD Sea Camp's coordinator, Dr. Howard Walters, said. AWe will be engaging our campers this year in cutting-edge science about biological invasion of our northern Gulf of Mexico waters by plants and animals from other parts of the globe."

Walters said the new hands-on programs have been developed as a result of working with scientists involved in research on alien species coming into the gulf. "Invasive species are among the greatest threats to our environment today," he said. "The scientists helped us present the latest research in our teacher education programs that Scott Aquarium and our partner institutions conducted in the northern gulf region last year.

Our campers will have fun, make new friends, and at the same time, learn things through personal discovery that won=t be in textbooks for years. It is one of the benefits of being part of the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory and The University of Southern Mississippi."

The five-day sessions are repeated each week of June 2 through Aug. 1, with the exception of July 21-25. Sessions for 5-year-old campers run from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Hours for all other ages are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Costs per week are age 5, $65; ages 6-7, $115; ages 8-14, $130; ages 15-16, $145.

The popular day camp draws participants from throughout the state and nation. For information or to register, call (228) 374-5550 or visit www.aquarium.usm.edu.

The Scott Aquarium is part of the university's Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, the Ocean Springs headquarters for the Southern Miss College of Marine Sciences.

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July 16, 2003 9:34 AM

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