LUMCON Workshops Aim To Teach About Coast’s Health

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Participants in LUMCON's first adult education workshop in October examine the contents of a net dipped into the marsh near Cocodrie. (Photo courtesy of LUMCON)

(Click to enlarge) Participants in LUMCON’s first adult education workshop in October examine the contents of a net dipped into the marsh near Cocodrie. (Photo courtesy of LUMCON)

The Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium is reaching out to educate the public on coastal issues and its research into the effects of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

(From houmatoday.com / by Xerxes Wilson) – These outreach efforts are taking the form of weekend workshops that mix a short lecture with hands-on learning in the marsh.

The organization’s next workshop is Saturday at LUMCON’s Cocodrie facility at 8124 La. 56.

Nancy Rabalais, LUMCON’s director, said the outreach events hit on one of the organization’s main purposes: providing access to information and resources on the marsh, fisheries and the ecosystem in general.

Saturday’s workshop will feature LUMCON scientist Joe Marton teaching about the functions, formation and susceptibility of the local marsh habitat.

“It’s to get the public into the resources to see the marshes and depending what they are able to do to on Saturday, show how human activities have changed it, including coastal land loss and oil spills,” Rabalais said.

The first workshop, held last month was dedicated to discussion of the Gulf Dead Zone and certain fisheries. The workshop begins with a lecture on the day’s given topic. Those attending are then taken out into the habitat for more hands-on learning.

“It’s sort of a mental break. We spot dolphins and talk about the animals there. We also have a trial net that captures things like animals and we are able to show the biodiversity of the estuary and explain it,” said Jessica Hernandez, LUMCON education outreach coordinator.

Hernandez said if weather permits Saturday, there will be either a boat or paddle tour through the marsh.

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