The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Research Laboratory’s Marine Education Center in Ocean Springs offers its popular Sea Camp for the 28th year this summer along with the Shark Fest day camp, now in its second year. Both will be offered in sessions for various age groups in June and July.
The popular Sea Camp, with this year’s theme “Down on the Bayou,” is a mainstay in the local community and also draws youth from neighboring states. It is designed to foster an awareness and understanding of the coast’s fragile marine and aquatic environments in children ages 6 to 13. Campers learn lessons about coastal stewardship through hands-on experiences. The opportunity to crab, fish, seine and sieve provide the students with profound educational lessons about our coastal environment.
Coupled with boat trips to Ship and Deer Islands, students will explore the bayou habitat and the creatures living there. There are educational art projects, which serve to reinforce the marine education being taught during this weeklong day camp.
Because it was so popular last year, Shark Fest will be offered for six weeks, twice as long as last year. Created specifically for children ages 12 to 18, this camp’s focus is on sharks and the shark research done at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory. Campers visit the top shark fishing hotspots around the Barrier Islands aboard a research vessel, catching and tagging sharks to contribute to ongoing scientific research.
The mission of the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, Mississippi's marine laboratory, is scientific discovery related to coastal and marine resources, development of new marine technologies, and the education of future scientists and citizens.