RPI on 10 New Piers in Panacea
Kerri and I drove from Juno Beach to Panacea last Thursday for our latest Responsible Pier Initiative First Responder workshop. While the North Florida temperatures were a bit cold for us, we managed to pile enough coats and scarves into the turtle van to make it through.
The workshop was held at Gulf Specimen Aquarium on Friday morning. A state park, a national wildlife refuge, an animal hospital, sea turtle patrols, volunteer groups, and local biologists were all represented. We provided a brief overview of Florida’s sea turtle species followed by the First Responder training and a few stories of successes the RPI has seen thus far.
Cypress, the manager at Gulf Specimen Aquarium, spoke about how he hopes to build stronger relationships with each organization through this initiative – we all need to work together to protect these animals. Everyone agreed.
At the end of the workshop, we carefully labeled each set of signs with bright orange sticky notes in anticipation of their distribution. One set left with Dustin Allen, heading to Bald Point State Park. Cypress and Tom at Gulf Specimen Aquarium have vowed to hang the signs and nets at the nine other piers in the area.
The first 800 miles of travel for the RPI this year have been logged and we cannot wait to see what lies ahead in 2015.