Skidaway Marine Science Day to be a ‘landfill free’ event

Skidaway Island, Ga. – Recycling means less trash is sent to a landfill and that’s the idea behind designating Skidaway Marine Science Day 2013 as a “landfill free” event. Skidaway Marine Science Day is an annual open house planned for Saturday, Oct. 26, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the campus of the University of Georgia Skidaway Institute of Oceanography located at the north end of Skidaway Island. The event is jointly presented by the UGA Skidaway Institute, the UGA Marine Extension Service Aquarium, the UGA MAREX Shellfish Laboratory, Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary and the Nature Conservancy.

Organizers will use recycling and composting bins to collect and recycle materials in an attempt to eliminate the stream of trash from the event ultimately headed to a landfill.

“The Skidaway campus understands it has a great responsibility to the environment,” said Amanda Wrona Meadows, a marine scientist with the Nature Conservancy and one of the event’s organizers. “While most people are pretty good about not littering, our goal is to have a great event like this and not worry about plastics accidentally getting into our rivers, streams and marshes and to not finish with truckloads of waste headed to a landfill.”

Skidaway Marine Science Day is a campus-wide open house with activities for everyone. These will include programs, tours, displays and hands-on activities, primarily related to marine science. The Skidaway Institute of Oceanography will offer a variety of activities for adults and children, including tours of the research vessel Savannah and smaller research vessels, science displays and hands-on science activities.

The UGA Aquarium will be open to visitors with no admission fee. In addition, the aquarium education staff will offer visitors a full afternoon of activities including science talks, a reptile show, crabbing, touch tanks and behind-the-scene tours of the aquarium.

The UGA Shellfish Laboratory will provide visitors with displays and information on marine life on the Georgia Coast. Children will have an opportunity to help protect the marine environment by bagging oyster shells used for oyster reef restoration projects.

The staff of Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary will show visitors how to operate a remotely-operated-vehicle in a swimming pool and pick up objects from the bottom. Gray’s Reef NMS is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration-a federal agency. Its participation will be dependent on the reopening of federal government offices.

Skidaway Institute professor Bill Savidge will reprise his very popular talk and tour on the history of Skidaway Island, tracing the Skidaway campus back to its years as a hunting preserve and cattle plantation.

Along with campus organizations, Skidaway Marine Science Day will also include displays, demonstrations and activities from a wide range of science, environmental and education groups, such as the Dolphin Project, the Georgia Sea Turtle Center and the Nature Conservancy.

“To help ensure that Skidaway Marine Science Day will be a zero-landfill event, we ask visitors to bring their own water bottle and to use the recycling and composting bins that will be available on site,” said Meadows. “We will have water refill stations available.”

All activities at Skidaway Marine Science Day will be free. For additional information, call 912-598-2325, or see www.skio.uga.edu.