The weather may be cooling down on Pigeon Key, but we are enjoying our fall that has been filled with education groups, outreach events and more. We have an average daily temperature of 75-80 degrees and water temperatures averaging around 75 degrees! Tours continue to run daily and the staff has been occupied with island maintenance and gearing up for our 2017 education season.
Earlier this month, Pigeon Key was host to Dr. Karen Neely and her Marine Biology class from the Florida Keys Community College. Dr. Neely and her students came out for the day to snorkel around the island and use our facilities as an outdoor classroom. To end their visit, the students were able to assist the staff in feeding the saltwater pool, which contains bonnethead sharks, nurse sharks, tarpon, snook and various species of snappers and parrotfish. It was a beautiful day to be on the island!
The 7th grade class from Sigsbee Charter School in Key West visited us for three days and had a blast dissecting sharks and squid, snorkeling at Sombrero Reef, and collecting all types of invertebrate creatures from around the island. They were fortunate enough to visit us as 6th graders last school year, so they knew the lay of the land and all the fun the island has to offer!
The Pigeon Key staff also attended the “Stanley Switlik Elementary Spooktacular” event for Halloween here in Marathon and the Dolphin Research Center “Ocean Celebrations Day” last week. A touch tank was brought along and filled with sea cucumbers, spiny lobsters, serpent sea stars, conchs and channel clinging crabs for the students of all ages to handle. We were highly impressed with how well the students were able to identify many of the different species we collected!
The Pigeon Key Staff would like to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving and we look forward to seeing you on the island soon!