Tag Archives: tybee island

Grad students clean Tybee Island beach

Grad students from both the Skidaway and Athens campuses teamed up with volunteers from Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant to clean the beach at Tybee Island and to assist with a dune restoration project.

The project happened during a “bonding weekend” in late September. The students coordinated a beach clean-up with the Tybee Clean Beach Volunteer group. Once there, they also joined forces with the Tybee Beach Task Force that had a dune restoration project at the North Beach. This included putting up dune fencing, placing wrack and planting vegetation. The students’ specific jobs were to clean the beach and wrack.

They collected more than 20 pounds of trash. “Our biggest source of trash was cigarette butts,” Christine Burns said. “We easily had more than 400 cigarette butts. We also found a kite, a bunch of beach toys and umbrella pieces.”

The students also recorded more than 500 pieces of very small pieces of plastic and styrofoam that were broken up and sprinkled throughout the wrack.

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Teachers learn about marine debris in Project SORT workshop

The University of Georgia Marine Extension hosted a four-day regional marine debris workshop for 16 educators from North and South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama. Presentations and field experiences were provided by Jay Brandes and Dick Lee from the Skidaway Institute. Jenna Jambeck from the University of Georgia provided training on the Marine Debris Tracker app and its applications to field research. Education staff from the Georgia Sea Turtle Center provided classroom activities.

MAREX's Dodie Sanders brief's the workshop teachers during a field trip to Tybee Island.

MAREX’s Dodie Sanders brief’s the workshop teachers during a field trip to Tybee Island.

The teachers were provided informative sessions on current research and related topics on marine debris, such as types, sources, movements and micro plastics, and current marine debris research applicable to the South Atlantic Bight region. Working closely with the scientists, the educators had an opportunity to enhance their understanding and knowledge of marine debris topics for future use in the classroom.

The workshop generated news coverage from the Savannah Morning News, WTOC-TV  and WSAV-TV.

Marine debris exhibits along the Georgia coast

The University of Georgia Marine Extension (UGA MAREX) completed the design, fabrication and installation of three new marine debris exhibits currently housed at UGA MAREX on Skidaway Island, Tybee Island Marine Science Center on Tybee Island and the Georgia Sea Turtle Center on Jekyll Island.

The marine debris exhibit at the MAREX Aquarium

The marine debris exhibit at the MAREX Aquarium

The exhibits, funded by the NOAA Marine Debris Program, are one component to the year-long project, Project SORT: Using Marine Debris Surveys to Encourage Environmental Stewardship.