Part of Turtle Cove's mission is to provide education and outreach activities to students, teachers, and community members. These activities engender support for preserving the current wetland ecology and for future wetland restoration.
Using the 40 ft Turtle Cove Pontoon Boat, our staff take students (usually ranging from 2nd or 3rd graders through college) and community groups of all ages, on field trip tours of the marsh and swamp areas of the Manchac/Maurepas region. These field trips involve both lectures (on the history of our coastal wetland loss problems) as well as hands-on activities where students test water quality, dip net for aquatic species, or conduct field surveys of specific animal and plant species. Canoes are also available for field trips. We can trail up to 10 canoes for a field trip anywhere around the basin. We also have canoes stationed at Galva Canal and at the main research facility in Pass Manchac. Check out our brand new Self-Guided Boardwalk Tour at Turtle Cove.
In conjunction with GOMA, this project, which was originally funded during 2011 (and which activities continue through the future), seeks to create an environmentally literate public who are good stewards of the Gulf and associated watersheds. Innovative, field-based and classroom-based opportunities are provided for K-12 teachers, students and families in southeast Louisiana. Teachers, other educators and students have been attending Turtle Cove field trip tours where they learn about the impacts of coastal wetland loss, collect/analyze water quality data, perform flora/fauna identification analysis and participate in demonstrations in wetland restoration projects (plantings and Christmas tree deployments) that have been and will continue each spring. Included in these trips is a ride through the Manchac Wetlands on the Turtle Cove Pontoon Boat, where passengers are able to view first-hand the characteristics and beauty of Southeast Louisiana wetlands. A major component of each field trip is the new Self-guided Boardwalk Tour in the marsh behind Turtle Cove, where individuals learn detailed information on about 50 different flora/fauna species that inhabit the surrounding ecosystem. Families have also been asked to attend and participate in the field trips. The initial phase of this project concluded with a Teacher Workshop held at Turtle Cove facilities in accordance with this grant. View more about upcoming workshops.
Originally funded through a NOAA grant from 2010-2011, this project greatly enhanced Turtle Cove's traditional field trips into more of a new field training program for young scientists. This program is appropriate for grade school groups ranging form approximately third grade through high school students, as well as any related community groups, seeking advanced activity training and skills in wetland science. Contact Rob Moreau [firstname.lastname@example.org] for more information.
Through the years, when funding has been available, Turtle Cove has facilitated single-day teacher workshops for K-12 teachers and other community educators. These workshops have focused on a combination of field collection and identification techniques (water quality/dipnetting/vegetation identification) and classroom lectures, all of which provide an introduction to the natural and socio-economic systems that make up the Lake Pontchartrain Basin.