After 13 years of serving Palm Beach County, making a difference in the lives of thousands of children, it is time to expand both our reach and the depth of services we offer. Marine Lab offers an incredible opportunity to do both. We are actively searching for a site to build this special program, and have identified several tracts of vacant land in Riviera and West Palm Beach.
The FFA’s Marine Lab will teach students of all ages firsthand about the unique species populating local waters, via classroom instruction, field trips by boat and hands-on exploration. Instruction will start in the classroom, at participating South Florida schools, where we will lead students through an abbreviated version of our 12-session basic marine-education course. Students will also examine microorganisms found in live rock, and our aquaponics aquarium tank will demonstrate the growth and life cycle of underwater vegetation. Students and chaperones will then take an FFA bus to the Riviera Beach Marina, where they will board the Thea Marie, our 49-passenger, Coast Guard-inspected, handicapped-accessible catamaran, riding this floating classroom to snorkeling locations off central Palm Beach County. FFA guides will help them identify and collect fish, plant and other marine species. They will then return to the classroom, using microscopes to examine the biological composition of fish and other marine life. As a bonus, our mobile program will include a strong dose of character-building, leadership opportunities and other life lessons, and will be open to disabled and able-bodied students alike. Best of all, the program will be affordable, no more than $50 per student.
The current proposal has the FFA responsible for raising the necessary money to purchase the land and develop the property, along with staffing, equipment, utilities and other expenses. Get ready, volunteers and supporters! We need your help. Call us to learn more about how you help.