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No longer are our famous field trips just for school groups.  You can discover the wonders of Dauphin Island with a Sea Lab Summer Excursion!  Bring your friends or family and enjoy a hands-on exploration of coastal habitats with a Dauphin Island Sea Lab professional educator.  Visit the salt marsh and learn why these mucky habitats are so vital.  Or walk along the beach and in the maritime forest and learn the value of these increasingly threatened environments.

Only $12 per person (adults and children)! Payment is due the morning of the excursion. Children 18 and under must be accompanied by an adult; adults are responsible for their children. Space is limited so reservations are recommended. Please note that Estuarium admission is separate.  DISL reserves the right to cancel in case of inclement weather or if there is insufficient participation.

For more information on these trips, call
(251)861-2141 x7545 , or email summerexcursions@disl.org.

To make a reservation, complete the Reservation Form and return by mail or email (addresses on form).

Salt Marsh Field Excursion
Dates: June 12, June 19, July 17, and
July 31, 2014

Time: 9:45 am to 12:15 pm

Salt marshes are not monotonous expanses of grass; they are fascinating coastal wetlands that are critical to our estuary system. After meeting outside the Estuarium, you’ll be transported to the Dauphin Island salt marsh to explore this vital ecosystem.

Summer Marsh

You’ll be a marine scientist for a day, using seine nets, yabby pumps, and sieve boxes to collect samples, including crabs, snails, and fish. (We’ll leave what we collect as we want our marsh to remain healthy.) You’ll learn about the important role salt marshes play in the Gulf of Mexico and how they support the  seafood we  enjoy.

Because of the danger posed by sharp oyster shells, participants need to wear closed-toe shoes that tie or strap on, such as old tennis shoes. Please no flip-flops, Crocs or rubber boots as they get ‘eaten’ by the marsh mud.  Showers and changing facilities will be available after the marsh trip. Due to sharp shells, pointy plants, and other potential dangers, we do not recommend this trip for pre-school children.

Recommended items: sunscreen, hat, dry clothes, towel, plastic bag for muddy shoes/clothes, water
Suggested items: camera, binoculars

Beach, Dune and Forest Excursion
Dates: June 3, June 24, July 3, and
July 8, 2014

Time: 9:45 am to 12:15 pm

A barrier island is not just sand and water – the beach is a thriving habitat with a dynamic dune system and fascinating plants and animals, and higher elevations are covered by lush forest. After meeting outside the Estuarium, we’ll walk through the Audubon Bird Sanctuary’s maritime forest, then on to the dunes and beach.

Dune trip

You will learn about plants that Indians and colonists used and the benefits of an intact dune system. You’re sure to see many coastal animals; occasional highlights include osprey, alligators and dolphins. You’ll dig for mole crabs that live in the surf zone and chase scuttling ghost crabs. We’ll bring hand lenses, critter containers and hand nets, so we can get up close and personal with the flora and fauna.

We’ll walk about a mile and a half, and feet may get wet, so participants should wear comfortable walking shoes they don’t mind getting wet.

Recommended items: sunscreen, hat, bug spray, water
Suggested items: camera, binoculars


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