FREE World Oceans Day/New Sea Jelly Exhibit Opening, Skidaway Is. Aquarium

University of Georgia Marine Extension Service Aquarium

World Oceans Day Celebration, Cousteau Birthday, and Sea Jellies Exhibit Opening

 June 9, 2012

In celebration of World Oceans Day, Jacques Cousteau’s birthday and the new “Sea Jellies of the Georgia Coast” exhibit, the UGA Marine Extension Service will host FREE hands-on education programs from 10am-4pm on Saturday, June 9, 2012.  Free aquarium admission and educational activities are sponsored by NOAA’s Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary in honor of the birthday of ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau. 

The day’s activities will focus on the issue of marine debris and how it affects Georgia’s coastal waters and the ocean.   Visitors can learn more about sea jellies and participate in marine debris and sea jelly crafts, a marine debris program, a salt marsh clean-up, an aquarium treasure hunt, and ocean stories.

The new exhibit “Sea Jellies of the Georgia Coast” will open at 10AM with a half hour introduction to the exhibit at 11AM and highlighting the local and global importance of sea jellies and water quality.  The exhibit will honor the late Dr. Peter Verity and his research at the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography and will  present data from  a scientific publication entitled “Temporal and spatial patterns of abundance and size of Appendicularians and Ctenophores in the Skidaway Estuary, and relationships to important environmental variables,” by Laura M. Birsa of the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography. Laura was a graduate student of Dr. Verity and currently works at the Institute where she continues to collect samples of ctenophores. The exhibit will also provide information about how water quality and coastal health play a vital role in the economy of coastal areas. 

The species of ctenophore being highlighted in this exhibit are Mnemiopsis leidyi.  Cteonphores are clear, non stinging jellies, commonly referred to as comb jellies.  These delicate spherical or ribbon like organisms drift in all oceans, including the Atlantic.  They are named for the lines of cilia found on the organism’s surface that beat like small paddles to help the animal swim weakly.

 Activities Schedule
Marine Debris Program and Salt Marsh Clean-up: 8-10AM
Treasure Hunt (on-going): 10AM-4PM

Marine debris and sea jellies crafts (on-going): 10AM-4PM
“Sea Jellies of the Georgia Coast” Exhibit Opening: 11-11:30AM

Ocean Stories (15 minutes long and on the half hour): 10:30, 11:30, 12:30, 1:30, 2:30, 3:30

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