That slippery stuff you see growing on the rocks at ocean’s edge or artfully wrapped around your sushi has much more going on than meets the eye. Seaweeds produce more oxygen than a tropical rainforest, are a better source of calcium than milk, go into making the toothpaste you use, the ice cream you eat, the agar used in petri dishes, and have a multitude of medicinal properties.
The diverse world of marine algae (aka seaweeds) has over 11,000 species worldwide. Having characteristics of both plant (photosynthetic) and animal (zygotic reproduction) seaweeds are so unique they don’t fit easily into any one kingdom.
We’ll begin the day learning how seaweeds are classified, what makes each class distinct, their unique reproductive and survival strategies, as well as learning about the vital roles they play in the ecosystem and their invaluable uses in the marketplace. Special emphasis will be given to the seaweeds commonly seen growing along our coast. Then we’ll go out to explore the reef and learn to identify the different seaweeds we find there, first hand. Come enjoy learning about the remarkable world of seaweeds! Also open to youth (ages 7-17) with parent attendance.