Conservation is the name of the game at 30A Sea Life, starting with the beaches and waterways all across Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. Through everything they do, this passionate non-profit strives to get everyone invested in the wellbeing of marine life and their habitats. They accomplish that challenging goal with fun and engaging hands-on discovery programs for kids and adults alike.
Their discovery programs give everyone a chance to get up close and personal with sharks, sea turtles, and everything in between. They gear each one to certain age groups to offer activities that will keep all participants engaged and learning at their own speed. While they discuss conservation every chance they get, the real purpose of the programs is to build connections between people and sea life. With those connections, people feel driven to protect their newfound friends any way they can.
Their programs also help generate funds that support other conservation efforts going on all along the Gulf Coast. They contribute to the work of the South Walton Artificial Reef Association in building lasting habitats across the Gulf of Mexico. They also complete tons of research that help identify ways to save marine habitats, including the rare coastal dunes found all across the waterfront.
Ultra-fun activities offered here include:
Shark Pups Program
The Shark Pups Program gives kids ages three to seven an in-depth look at what it’s like to be a shark. They get to learn all about the shark’s system and activities through a sandbox activity, shark tooth craft and touch tank experience. It’s always a blast, and kids learn to love all the different kinds of sharks found across the world.
Shark Attack Adventure
Older kids get to go on the Shark Attack Adventure, which gives them a chance to directly contribute to the conservation of these majestic creatures. Throughout the program, they get to identify sharks, learn about their prey, and explore their inner workings, including a close look at their liver. The best part is working on the shark tagging program that helps the blacktips, sandbars, and more life long, healthy lives.
Shelldon’s Sea Turtle Underwater Adventure
Children and adults can sign up to participate in the Shelldon’s Sea Turtle Underwater Adventure. This hands-on snorkel program gives everyone a chance to learn about the life cycle of the sea turtle. While snorkeling alongside the turtles, participants get to learn all about their behavior, feeding habits, and much more. The educators also talk a lot about the other creatures that live alongside the turtles and contribute to the wellbeing of their habitat.
Each summer, this discovery center hosts an amazing day camp designed to introduce kids to the many endangered species in the Gulf region. Each day, they go on exciting adventures, like kayaking in Western Lake and snorkeling in Saint Andrews State Park, to see the habitats in person. All along the way, they get ample opportunities to swim with sea turtles, tag sharks, and identify fish. If they go for the extra day add-on, they even get to go scuba diving, which is a fun combination of snorkeling and scuba diving.
– Use their website to book online well in advance. Their programs fill up fast, so you’ll need to get your group on the schedule at least a few weeks prior to your planned visit.
– If you cannot afford their summer camp fees, ask about their scholarship program.
– Snorkeling activities are best for kids age four and up. All participants should be comfortable in the water, which can reach four feet deep in certain areas.