Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary
Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary
Baby Sea Turtle Education

Teacher Workshops

Each year Gray's Reef staff offer workshops on watersheds. These workshops are in-depth, literally, with loads of information and experiences you won't get just anywhere. Besides all of that, they are fun too!

Behind the Scenes at Georgia Aquarium

Behind the Scenes at Georgia Aquarium
(Photo: Cathy Sakas, GRNMS)

Rivers to Reefs Educators Workshop is a free six-day, jam-packed teacher's workshop of fantastic field experiences and empowering classroom lessons. The workshop begins in Atlanta with a visit to the Georgia Aquarium's Learning Loop. The sixteen participants follow the course of the Altamaha Watershed from its headwaters near the Georgia Aquarium to Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary with numerous field experiences along the way. The highlight of the workshop is an all day trip to Gray's Reef where participants deploy and operate an ROV (remotely operated vehicle) to see the reef without ever getting wet!

Black Seabass on Sparsely Colonized Livebottom

Black Seabass on Sparsely Colonized Livebottom
(Photo: Greg McFall, GRNMS)

Gray's Reef is situated 20 miles east of Georgia's coast, off Sapelo Island's Cabretta Beach. The sanctuary encompasses approximately 20 square miles of scattered carbonate-cemented sandstone outcroppings that create a live-bottom reef. Within the boundaries are intermittent hard rocky ledges that host three species of hard coral (Oculina) as well as encrusting tunicates, soft corals and sponges of various colorful species. And that's what attracts fish galore!

Exploring the marshes of Sapelo Island

Exploring the marshes of Sapelo Island
(Photo: Cathy Sakas, GRNMS)

Other field experiences include training in water quality monitoring, a short canoe trip, a boat ride on the Altamaha River to explore the watershed that directly influences Gray's Reef, and a ferry ride over to Sapelo Island to explore the marshes and estuaries. While on Sapelo Island participants learn about the cultural history of the native islander, investigate the ecology of the beach communities, and hopefully observe a female loggerhead sea turtle laying her eggs as the species has done for over 180 million years.

At the end of each day we discuss our experiences and share how these experiences can be incorporated into classroom lessons. PLU credits are awarded to those completing the requirements of the workshop.

To view information on previous years' workshops and the daily activites during the week; select the 2010 Rivers to Reefs Workshop, 2011 Rivers to Reefs Workshop, 2012 Rivers to Reefs Workshop, 2013 Rivers to Reefs Workshop or the 2014 Rivers to Reefs Workshop to visit their mission info log pages.

To apply please respond to the call for applications that will be issued each spring when plans are finalized for that season's workshops.

To add yourself to the Gray's Reef Educator's list, click the link below to send an e-mail message to GRNMSeducation-join@list.woc.noaa.gov with "Subscribe GRNMSEducation" in the subject line.


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