Once a year, a few lucky sea slugs, sea stars, crabs or even octopi get plucked from the ocean and get a free trip to land. They’re not being hunted or harmed, but rather are gathered for observation purposes in tanks on the shoreline.
This Saturday, Sept. 22 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Mt. Gardner dock, is the 12th (give or take a year) annual nature dive.
“We want to share what we see underwater with locals,” says long time organizer Adam Taylor. “A lot of people think because it’s dark and murky, there’s no life.
“It’s full of life.”
The annual program brings in interpreters from the Marine Life Sanctuaries Society. While divers bring up the hardier sea specimens, which are carefully put in the tanks on shore, interpreters educate the audience about the species they’re encountering.
Though the program is open to everyone, children are the target audience.
“A lot of the interpreters [in years past] were impressed by how knowledgeable the young kids were because they had attended before,” says Taylor.
After, or even midway through, the event, all the animals get returned whence they came, unharmed.
Taylor says that by exposing youth and islanders to the creatures that surround us, they’ll be more aware of their effects on the environment.
“People protect what they love,” says Taylor. “Hopefully if it’s right there they’ll care.”
“I’m hoping people will be aware of what they pour down the drain,” he says, “and that they’ll report illegal dumping and fishing.
“Plus, [the event is] a lot of fun.”
While the event is free, donations are greatly appreciated.
One last caution from Taylor, parking is very limited by Mt. Gardner dock, so if possible, carpool.