PORT ISABEL, Texas — Protecting wildlife and promoting education. Today marks the first of many Marine Science camps at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. From local fish and other marine animals, it is a unique hands-on approach aimed at inspiring future generations.
Shelby Bessette, Program manager – UTRGV Coastal Studies, “So we do this to promote marine science and youth education in the environment. We want to get people outdoors and basically have an outdoor classroom.”
The marine camp is one of many summer programs the university offers for children ages 7 – 13. It is a 2-day event happening on Thursdays and Fridays starting in Port Isabel. Their goal is to teach children about local wildlife with a hands-on approach.
“We’re putting out our nets, catching some fish so they can touch them and learn about them.” Says Bessette.
Mario Molina, summer assistant – UTRGV Coastal Studies, “I really think this is some of the best thing you can do for the kids. You get your hands on… you get to touch some fish and get some inside experience from the people who are doing it.”
After the catch it’s off to the lab for testing. Part of the program’s message is for the students to enjoy and learn to protect the environment.
“Get them to do things they don’t get to do on a regular basis. I know water sports is really expensive. It’s always great to get kids out here and experience nature for themselves.” Adds Molina.
A total of four youth sessions is left this summer. A program is also in the works for high school students interested in a career in science. If you’d like to learn more about the UTRGV Marine Camp visit: https://www.utrgv.edu/csl/visit/camps/index.htm