For Hometown News
ST. LUCIE COUNTY -
Everyone is invited to join in on the country-wide celebration of National Estuaries Day with the Smithsonian and dozens of local organizations on Sept.29 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The Smithsonian is hosting a free family-friendly community event at Museum Pointe Park, 420 Seaway Drive between the Aquarium and History Center, on South Hutchinson Island to celebrate the cultural, recreational and environmental importance of the Indian River Lagoon.
Live entertainment, vendors, hands-on activities for children, touch tanks, "meet the Smithsonian scientist" stations, demonstrations and discounted pontoon boat rides will all showcase the significant role the lagoon plays.
Exhibitors, including St. Lucie Audubon Society, South Florida Water Management District, Florida Master Naturalists, Lisa's Kayaks and many more, will provide information on opportunities to become more engaged with cultural, recreational and educational activities on the lagoon.
During the celebration, event-goers are encouraged to visit the St. Lucie County Aquarium, featuring the Smithsonian Marine Ecosystems Exhibit, and the St. Lucie County Regional History Center.
On the same day, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute will be holding its fifth annual event for National Estuaries Day, offering informal presentations by staff scientists, live displays of IRL organisms, hands-on science activities, and pontoon boat tours.
Visitors are encouraged to take time to visit both locations during the event day. For the convenience of event-goers, the Smithsonian and Harbor Branch are providing free continuous shuttle service to transport guests between Museum Pointe Park and Harbor Branch.
The festival at Museum Pointe Park has been made possible by an award from the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, sponsorship by the Friends of the Smithsonian Marine Station, and support of the county.
Festival planners are still looking for additional event sponsors.
National Estuaries Day is an annual nationwide celebration of America's estuaries; the vital coastal areas where freshwater and saltwater meet. The celebration, held each year on the last Saturday in September, provides an opportunity to learn more about these ecosystems and how everyone can help protect them.
To learn more about these national treasures, visit www.estuaries.gov. To learn more about the Indian River Lagoon, visit www.sms.si.edu/irlspec.
For more information about event day activities at Museum Pointe Park, contact the Smithsonian Marine Ecosystems Exhibit at (772) 465-3271. For information about the Harbor Branch event, call (772) 242-2559.