LFT enjoyed an educationally rich trip to Waddell Mariculture Center where local biologist Erin Levesque gave us a tour of the outdoor ponds, indoor tanks, and nearby riverside native garden.
The facility recently conducted a renovation of the indoor spawning tanks. These tanks are important to their research because unlike the outdoor ponds, scientists can see exactly what is happening. They are currently undergoing a renovation of their system to regulate temperatures in the wet lab.
Students learned all about cobia and red drum enhancement while encountering them directly. While feeding the fish, Erin talked about the processes and studies employed by SCDNR scientists. The information was striking in the way that the lab’s research has so many applications from food to population enhancement to understanding the timelines and behaviors of each species.
The trip concluded with a walk in beautiful weather down to the river where a local garden club keeps a native plant garden. Erin spoke about the river, the garden, and the house there which houses interns and researchers for the center. The students didn’t want to leave and it’s very rare to find such a passionate and educated guide. This is a field trip we will be repeating if at all possible.