UF/IFAS Nature Coast Biological Station raises $9,000

More than 50 residents from Florida’s Nature Coast and Gainesville paddled, jogged or cheered during the Workout on the Waterfront event held in Cedar Key, Florida to raise money for local causes. The event, held March 18, was sponsored by the Nature Coast Biological Station, part of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

The goal of Workout on the Waterfront was to raise funds for the future UF/IFAS NCBS aquarium, the Cedar Key Library and the International Coast Clean-up, said Mike Allen, director of UF/IFAS NCBS. At the end of the day, Workout on the Waterfront raised $9,000.

“The aquarium will foster ecotourism in the Cedar Key area and will showcase efforts to conserve wildlife from the region,” Allen said. “The Florida Aquarium has generously donated its time and expertise to help with the planning of the new aquarium, for which we’re very grateful.”

Funds will also go toward new audio-visual equipment for the Cedar Key Library, which was badly damaged during Hurricane Hermine. This equipment will allow the library to continue hosting seminars and presentations for the community.

“Our hearts really went out to the library when it lost so much to the storm. We wanted to help them get back on their feet so they could continue serving residents,” said Mendy Allen, program coordinator for UF/IFAS NCBS.

This event featured a 5K run along the waterfront and a kayak race. The 5K run had 46 entrants this year. The winners were:

  • George Gude (under 18)
  • Angel Baer and Kyle McElroy (under 50)
  • Julie Morey and Dave Shiess (50 and over).

The kayak race had three contestants. Jacob Levin came in the lead, with Lonn McDowell and Timothy Morey close behind. These racers started at Lil Shark Beach, found a piece of trash on Atsena Otie Key and headed back to the beach for the finish line.

The third component of the event, the Repurpose-It Regatta, featured boats made by contestants out of recycled materials. A large crowd of observers gathered along G Street to watch the seven boats race around the shoreline.

The regatta’s aim was to raise awareness about the importance of reducing marine debris in our waters.

UF/IFAS NCBS looks forward to hosting it again next year.