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Manatee Encounter – Crystal River, FL
Field Trip with Bill Clifton from Science Partners at Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park.
WHEN: February 8, 2019
WHERE: American Pro Diving Center in Crystal River
And Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park
CONTACT: Merilee Clifton
COST: $70 ages 5-12; $75 ages 13 through adult
Join Bill and Merilee Clifton – creationists, authors, Florida Master Naturalists, and science educators – as we focus on “Florida’s Gentle Giant” – the West Indian Manatee. Our destination is Citrus County, The Nature Coast. In the morning, outfitted with wetsuits, masks, snorkels, and fins, we will take a pontoon boat ride in search of manatees. When we find them, we’ll join them in the crystal clear, spring-fed waters – the only place in Florida where it is legal to swim with manatees! During our manatee encounter, we’ll observe these sociable, endangered mammals “up close and personal.” We’ll study them in their natural habitat and discover what they look like, how they breathe, what they eat, and more! We’ll also learn what threatens their survival and how we can help.
Then, we’ll head for Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park for our picnic lunch and tour. This 166-acre park, located at the headwater of the Homosassa River, is a showcase for native Florida wildlife. We’ll visit the Children’s Education Center and also see many examples of Florida wildlife, some endangered or threatened. We’ll take the “Wildlife Walk” through natural wildlife habitats, keeping an eye out for alligators, crocodiles, snakes, deer, Florida black bear, bobcats, otter, Florida panthers, manatees (underwater viewing), and a variety of birds including endangered whooping cranes.