Emily spent time in Pensacola Bay volunteering with the UWF Underwater Archaeology folks!

Perhaps one of the greatest finds in Maritime History this century has happened right here in Pensacola Bay! Emily spent some time underwater for her Service Learning!

A blurb from her: By working on the wreck I have recently realized that we actually have a form of symbiosis with at least one of the bay inhabitants. We have a mutualistic relationship with a large sheepshead fish, it eats the barnacles off of our unit grids when we clean them, so it gets fed and we get clean grids that we won’t cut ourselves on. The archaeology performed at the site has also created new little ecosystems in the bay for various types of marine life. The grids and barge provide areas for barnacles to grow which in turn attract fish, and lots of different types of fish have made their homes within the many units that we are excavating and around our growing piles of ballast stones. There is so much marine life around the site that it is pretty common to suck up fish, shrimp, or crabs in the dredge, although we try as much as we can to avoid them. The pollution in the bay alongside the weather also affects our diving though. We have had to call dives early or cancel them entirely due to high levels of bacteria in the bay or low visibility due to high levels of sediments or particulates in the water. I subconsciously knew about all of these connections when I started diving, but I connected them more when I read about them in the chapters for this class.

Trever helped to create a pollinator garden!

My 10 Hour day at Gulf Islands National Seashore!

As my alarm went of a 6oclock AM on September 26, 2015, I was all but excited to spend 10 hours on Gulf Islands National Seashore. However, as I look back on the day, it feels great to know that I personally was able to make an environmental impact on the place that I love and have grown up in.  Gulf Islands National Seashores mission is to preserve the pristine beaches, wildlife, and the culture so that many people after us are able to learn and enjoy the same things that we did. The organizations mission was a huge reason why I chose to volunteer with them. It is inspiring to me that people have so much passion to preserve something for not themselves to enjoy, but the future generations to come. They are participating in something bigger then themselves, and for myself to have the opportunity to do the same, felt awesome.

Bat Houses for Jackson Guard

Check out the bat houses Tony made for his service learning project:

Oyster wall!

This will be in the water before you know it! Protecting a shoreline, creating habitat and improving water quality! Way to go Fall 2015 class!

One hour a week at a shoreline making a big difference!

Vabrice spent time at the beach to satisfy her service, not too shabby!! 

I took my service learning to the beach. Here I aided my fellow peers in cleaning up the beach. While doing it not only did it give me a great indescribable feeling, I helped save my environment one small step here I collected blocks of wood that were chilling shore side, broken chairs that people left, and wrappers that people had neglected to throw away in the trash. AND I HELD A STARFISH FOR THE FIRST TIME THAT WAS REALLY ACTIVE!!!!  This service project has taught me that we as a people have to love our environment more, because if we don’t no one else will.  With well over millions of people on the face of the planet it is our sole responsibility to take care of the place, that takes care of us.  Litter can lead one to think that an area is unkempt and unsafe and that disorder and littering are tolerated. (Which it is not) Litter attracts more litter. If we can clean our physical environment to make it look better, we as a people will feel better and isn’t that what life is all about? So the next time you walk across some trash on the floor wherever you shall be, even if it wasn’t you’re doing pick it up! It’s really all a domino effect and you never know what animal, ecosystem, wetland, and/or environment is thanking you.