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Snapshot of artwork submitted by Mandy Kelsh, eighth grader at Glynn Middle School, who received the ‘Marsh Protection is in Our Hands’ award from UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant.

UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant join the party at Coastfest 2015

The annual event brings in thousands of coastal residents and features organizations, such as UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant, intent on preserving the natural resources of coastal Georgia.

Brunswick, Georgia - UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant participated in the annual Coastfest public outreach event in Brunswick. Coordinated and hosted by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Coastal Resource Division, the event was attended by approximately 7,500 public visitors and featured a collection of federal and state agencies, organizations and institutions involved with the conservation of natural, cultural and historical resources of coastal Georgia. 

UGA Aquarium curators (Devin Dumont and Lisa Olenderski) and Georgia Sea Grant Marine Education Interns (Kayla Clark, Yesenia Feliciano, Jess Hernandez and Caitlin Shea-Vantine) displayed marine invertebrates to attract visitors and educated visitors about animals and habitats found on the Georgia coast. Katy Smith and Elaine Connell presented an innovative marine debris display made from repurposed debris, such as used billboard material, cleaner packaging and toothpaste tubes. Event-goers also received a copy of The Flying Debris children’s book, marine debris-themed activity booklet and repurposed bookmark made from plastic trash salvaged in Indonesia. UGA also distributed coastal county fishing maps and flyers on how homeowners can maintain septic tanks to benefit of water quality.

In addition, UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant presented two CoastFest 2015 Special Awards to participants of the annual CoastFest art contest:

  • The ‘Ocean Protection is in Our Hands’ award was presented to Needwood Middle School for their beautiful display of classroom artwork created from natural materials.
  • The ‘Marsh Protection is in Our Hands’ award was presented to Mandy Kelsh, an eighth grader at Glynn Middle School in Brunswick, Ga.

The award recipients will be presented with a special certificate and a marine-debris prevention prize pack from UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant. Participation in this large-scale event increases the visibility of UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant, promotes our educational and outreach programs and encourages stewardship of Georgia’s coastal resources.