The Estuarium at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab hosts a number of events for the public. The free, twice-monthly Boardwalk Talk program offers the public a chance to engage with the experts at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab on science topics as wide-ranging as climate change, habitat restoration, hypoxia, sea level change, salt marshes, oyster reefs, sharks and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The Summer Excursion program takes visitors into the habitats studied by our marine scientists, researchers and students at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab.
Adventures, Tours, and Talks
The Boardwalk Talk series is a free, public program on the first and third Wednesdays of the month, at 11:15 a.m. Come to the Estuarium to participate in a dialog with the experts, including researchers, graduate students, post docs, educators, aquarists and technicians. These informal chats encompass a broad range of science topics.
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 insufficient participation.
SALT MARSH SUMMER EXCURSION
2017 Dates: June 15, June 29, July 12, July 20, and July 27
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.
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 because 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.
BEACH DUNE AND MARITIME FOREST EXCURSION
2017 Dates: June 1, June 6, June 20, and July 6
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.
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.
Estuarium Curricula for School Groups
- K - 2 Activity Curriculum
- 3 - 5 Activity Curriculum
- 6 - 8 Activity Curriculum
- 9 - 12 Activity Curriculum
- Estuaries Lesson Plan (All Ages)
Estuarium Activity Keys
- Estuarium Activity Key Introduction for all Keys
- Estuarium Activity Key K-2nd
- Estuarium Activity Key 3rd-5th
- Estuarium Activity Key 6th-8th
- Estuarium Activity Key 9th-12th
Specific Activity Sheets
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