Angling for a Healthy Future

All FFA programs attend to the social and emotional needs of our youth, which leads to skill development, well-being, prosocial behavior, as well as improved academic performance. Benefits include higher grades, improved standardized test scores, on-time grade promotion, reduced dropout rates and increased school-day attendance. The programs below are the activities that increase engagement and self-awareness.

Since 2006, the Florida Fishing Academy has delivered a highly celebrated, custom-designed fishing education and life skills program to Palm Beach County elementary, middle and high schools students. At its heart, the Angling For a Healthy Future curriculum is an environmental awareness initiative that teaches children – tomorrow’s boaters, anglers and environmental stewards – to enjoy Florida’s fragile marine resources in a way that preserves the ecosystem for generations to come. Our program also arms students with the tools and knowledge to resist the temptations of the streets and to gain a richer appreciation for our local waters. Some even use the lessons and skills they develop to pursue jobs in the marine industries.

Charting a Course in the Marine Industries

After completing Angling for a Healthy Future, our high school students take Charting a Course in the Marine Industries. With this course, high school students receive extensive vocational fishing education, as well as post-secondary preparation and support designed to prepare them for the workforce or college. Students also learn how to mentor younger students, teach our program, navigate a vessel, chart an open-water course, compete in fishing tournaments, design and build rods, repair reels, build lures and, if interested, become a certified Red Cross lifeguard. Many of these advanced students serve as FFA camp counselors, and they work with our community partners through our on-the-job training initiative.

Marine Lab

With Mobile Marine Lab, the FFA’s hands-on educational program on wheels, our students, at their school, explore a working model of Florida’s watershed, the effects of pollution and beach erosion and how it relates to the marine-life food chain. They have the opportunity to hold various marine life critters in our touch tank, and they participate in an oil spill clean-up activity. These activities explore the importance of water quality, conservation and a healthy marine environment. We require students to brainstorm ideas for conservation activities and pollution control, and they are asked to educate their families and friends on the need to protect and sustain the quality of our aquatic and marine environments

Fish Identification Snorkeling Trips

This class is taught exclusively by boat, the recently launched Thea Marie, a 49-passenger, Coast Guard-inspected, handicapped-accessible hybrid catamaran now docked at the Riviera Beach Marina. Students and their chaperones ride to various snorkeling locations off the shores of Palm Beach County, particularly off Peanut Island. At the direction of FFA guides and instructors, students identify various species of fish and other marine life. While snorkeling, students study the manatee’s habitat and plant-based food sources and get a chance to see manatees from a safe distance during their prime migration season in November and December. Since many manatees bear propeller scars from dangerous collisions with boats, these sightings serve as a stark reminder of the great care that must be taken while boating during manatee season. Younger students also explore the effects of water pollution and its impact on the manatee.

For more information about FFA programs, contact:

Shannon Lalime

(716) 341-3248

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