Written by, Tiff Raetzel, Science Mentor
OCG campers got their daily dose of Vitamin Sea on their field trip to Caladesi Island! Caladesi Island is one of only two barrier islands in Pinellas County. Barrier islands are rapidly changing environments that can be heavily impacted by tides and hurricanes.
The girls studied how the island has changed over time with various activities. We put in some hard manual labor to dig holes deep in the sand to investigate the island’s past by examining the sediment layers. The island’s present was studied by creating a beach profile with a transit and stadia rod. Sediment samples were also collected and examined along the transect. We also explored the forces that shape the island: the wind and the water. The girls used anemometers to measure wind speed and used dye to measure the longshore current. The campers also examined and discussed coastal plants and their adaptations to live in this harsh and dynamic environment.
On top of all those fun science activities, the girls also bonded with one another and with us science mentors. The girls worked as a team to bury me in the sand using our sediment pit, and they also worked together to dig me back out! We also enjoyed swimming, collecting shells, and appreciating the island’s wildlife, including an Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake! Overall, we really sea-zed the day!