The field station on South Water Caye.

The field station on South Water Caye.

After a successful expedition in 2017, Sanibel Sea School will once again offer an educational, biology-focused trip to Belize for teens this summer. Open to participants ages 15-18, the program will run from July 30th to August 8th, and will include time spent in the jungle and on a remote island close to pristine coral reef habitat.

Campers will land in Belize City, then travel to Blue Creek Field Station in the Belizean rainforest, where they will stay in rustic accommodations, learn about the ecosystem, and enjoy activities like guided nature hikes, river tubing, and wildlife watching. “Last year, we saw monkeys, toucans, tarantulas, and so much more. In the jungle you are completely surrounded by creatures and you can hear and see them all the time,” said the organization’s Director of Education, Nicole Finnicum.

 Arriving on South Water Caye. 

Arriving on South Water Caye. 

Next, the group will move by boat to South Water Caye. From there, they will take daily trips to the Belize Barrier Reef to snorkel. Participants will learn about coral reef conservation, practice identifying coral reef species, and develop critical skills for engaging in scientific inquiry and research. “The South Water Caye Marine Reserve is a marine protected area, and it is home to some of the most pristine patches of reef in this part of the world,” said Finnicum. “There is so much biodiversity, including everything from cleaner shrimps to nurse sharks.”

 A snorkeler holds a queen conch in the South Water Caye Marine Reserve. 

A snorkeler holds a queen conch in the South Water Caye Marine Reserve. 

There will also be plenty of opportunities for creativity, with time each day for writing and making art. Meals will consist of local delicacies like beans and rice, fried plantains, and fresh seafood. Other program highlights will include beach walks, lounging in the many hammocks at both field stations, and playing games in the evening.

 Hammocks waiting to be lounged in. 

Hammocks waiting to be lounged in. 

For younger students, ages 11-15, who are interested in coral reef ecology, Sanibel Sea School will also offer two weeks of camp on Big Pine Key, located in the Florida Keys.

Sanibel Sea School is a 501c3 nonprofit whose mission is to improve the ocean’s future, one person at a time. To learn more and register for these and other camp sessions, visit sanibelseaschool.org. 

 It's just a short boat ride from the field station to the reef. 

It's just a short boat ride from the field station to the reef. 

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