(October 26, 2017) --

Discovery Hall Programs received recognition from Louisiana Sea Grant for participating in all 20 years of Ocean Commotion. From left: Greg Graeber, Jennifer Latour, Sara Johnson, John Dindo, Tina Miller-Way, Rachel McDonald, Chris Flight, and Lauren Still.

Dauphin Island Sea Lab's Discovery Hall Programs took a trip to Louisiana this week to participate in Louisiana Sea Grant's 20th annual Ocean Commotion on LSU's campus.

More than 1,600 elementary and middle school students participated in the one day ocean-themed educational fair on Tuesday, October 24. Exhibits focus on topics such as coastal marshes and wetlands, invasive species, local ecosystems, boating safety, and Louisiana's geology and wildlife. 

Many of the students have never been to a swamp or marsh, so, it was their first time to see the marine animals which DISL's Discovery Hall Programs' educator JoAnn Moody had on display. 

"The students were amazed by the more peculiar specimens, like batfish and stargazers, but really got excited over something most of us take for granted, live hermit crabs," Moody said. "I believe many of them could have spent their whole day just letting the hairy crabs walk around on their hands. Ocean Commotion is an invaluable educational experience for these Louisiana students and we are honored to have been a part since the beginning."

The Dauphin Island Sea Lab has participated in Ocean Commotion since it was first held in 1998. 

"We really enjoy participating in Ocean Commotion every year," DHP Chair Dr. Tina Miller-Way said. "Even in the 20 years of our participation, human interactions with the ocean, both positive and negative, have increased. So, it is especially important that the next generation knows and understands its resources and our collective impacts.  Ocean Commotion and events like it are important avenues to communicate this to that next generation.”

The Dauphin Island Sea Lab was one of nine presentors recognized for participating in every Ocean Commotion since the coastal stewardship fair began. Other groups and individuals recognized include:

  • Pam Blanchard, associate professor in the College of Human Sciences and Education. Blanchard also is an Ocean Commotion co-founder
  • Ron and Jackie Bartels with the Louisiana Chapter of Safari Club International
  • Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry
  • Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
  • S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • Safari Club International
  • LSU Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences

See if you can spot the Dauphin Island Sea Lab display in this report by TigerTV.