FWC News Release

Contact: Cathy Palmer, (727) 896-8626

If it’s a quest, it’s got to be an adventure! MarineQuest 2007, the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute’s (FWRI) free open house on Saturday, April 21, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., promises to be an adventure for all ages.

Visitors to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s annual event at FWRI will go behind the scenes to get up close and personal with marine life of all shapes and sizes, including microscopic algae, conchs, lobsters, stingrays and sharks. Taking visitors on their journey are top-notch, nationally known researchers.

Your Saturday adventure may take you to the touch tanks, or maybe to the “gyotaku” station for fish-painting. Or it could take you through the labs where cutting-edge research is making headlines every day. There also will be presentations on red tide, sea turtles, a fish with a boom box and ocean stories. Touch manatee bones, see what fish eat and learn about sea grass, which isn’t really a true “grass” after all.

There also will be booths outside for real live fishing, face-painting and origami. Food vendors nearby will be ready with tasty treats. Free parking will be available in the University of South Florida parking garage. MarineQuest is co-sponsored by the St. Petersburg Times, the City of St. Petersburg and the university’s St. Petersburg branch. FWRI is at 100 Eighth Ave. Southeast in downtown St. Petersburg.

Media Opportunity Prior to Event: On Thursday and Friday, April 19 and 20, FWRI will host MarineQuest School Daze. At this event, an expected 2,500 students will learn from the state’s top scientists in a fun, hands-on environment. FWRI researchers also will be available for brief interviews about MarineQuest activities. For more information, contact Cathy Palmer at (727) 224-3674.