Workout on the Waterfront supports public aquarium in Cedar Key

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Feb. 24, Nature Coast residents will run, walk and paddle in support of science education and pollution prevention.

Proceeds from the second annual Workout on the Waterfront (WOW) will go toward the 2018 International Coastal Clean-up and a new public aquarium at the Nature Coast Biological Station in Cedar Key, Florida. The NCBS is part of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

The event also aims to raise awareness about the impact of plastic pollution, a type of marine debris, on our oceans, said Savanna Barry, a regional specialized Sea Grant agent with UF/IFAS NCBS.

“We hope people come away with a better understanding of marine debris. We will have pledge cards available for people to make a commitment to reducing their use of single-use plastics, such as drinking straws,” Barry said.

The event features three competitions:

  • Coastal Heritage 5K: Runners and walkers follow a scenic route through historic Cedar Key.
  • Kayak Challenge: Kayakers race to and from Atsena Otie Key, and must pick up at least one piece of trash they find along the way.
  • Repurpose-It Regatta: Participants race in boats they have constructed out of natural, biodegradable materials. Find the rules at http://bit.ly/2E9vvkR.

All events start in Cedar Key. Participants can find specific times, locations and sign-up forms online. Single events range from $25 to $40, with combination entries available at reduced cost.

“This is a fun event for individuals and families that supports our efforts to give back to the community,” Barry said. “A public aquarium will be a great way to introduce the community to scientific research we’re doing at the station. It will have species that live in the Cedar Key area and will give people a view into a world they don’t get to see all the time.”

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The mission of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is to develop knowledge relevant to agricultural, human and natural resources and to make that knowledge available to sustain and enhance the quality of human life. With more than a dozen research facilities, 67 county Extension offices, and award-winning students and faculty in the UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, UF/IFAS works to bring science-based solutions to the state’s agricultural and natural resources industries, and all Florida residents. Visit the UF/IFAS web site at ifas.ufl.edu and follow us on social media at @UF_IFAS.

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