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Learn about Florida’s Manatees

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Learn about Florida’s Manatees Jan. 5

The Florida Master Naturalists’ St. Lucie Chapter is hosting a free program titled “About Florida’s Manatees” as part of their ongoing popular lecture series on Thursday, Jan 5 at 7 p.m. at the Savannas Preserve State Park, 2510 SE Walton Road, Port St. Lucie. FAU researcher and student Samantha McGuire will answer five important questions to help educate the public about manatees.  This will help others get an understanding of the environment and the animals that live here.  The last topic of her presentation will be solely about conservation and how others can contribute and help protect these wonderful creatures.

McGuire is originally from South Dakota and had the opportunity to move to Hawaii to attend college. While in college, she fell in love with the ocean and tropical climate.  She eventually relocated to Florida to continue her studies in the Sunshine State.  McGuire is an undergraduate student at Florida Atlantic University where she is a senior who plans to further her education as a marine biology graduate student.  She currently works are a Manatee Master/Docent at Manatee Lagoon in Riviera Beach.

This summer, McGuire interned at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium as part of the Education/Research Department. She educated visitors on marine conservation topics, including the protection of marine mammals and other marine species.  While assisting with boat tours, she also collected data that was used to improve upon a photograph database of dolphin identifications.  In the future, she hopes to focus her research on marine mammals such as humpback whales.  She also has a strong passion to continue her previous studies on the photographic identification of dolphins and manatees.

McGuire’s program is sponsored by the Florida Master Naturalists – St. Lucie Chapter and the Savannas Preserve State Park.  The St Lucie Chapter of the Florida Master Naturalists is affiliated with the UF/IFAS Florida Master Naturalist Program. Partners include the UF/IFAS St Lucie County Extension, St. Lucie County Environmental Resources Department, the Savannas State Preserve Park and other local environmental education providers.  For more information, contact Mary White, President Florida Master Naturalists St Lucie Chapter at 772-359-6213 or fmnmarywhite@gmail.com, or call Savannas Preserve office at 772-398-2779.

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