Encouraging residents and visitors to shrink their environmental footprints, Key Largo’s popular “Delicate Balance of Nature” free lecture series kicks off its 29th year Wednesday, Jan.15.
The Jan. 15 presentation is to focus on owl species of the Florida Keys, from the quirky burrowing owl to the massive great horned owl. Jordan Budnik, Executive Director of the Florida Keys Wild Bird Center, is to offer tips to identify owls by sight, sound and behavior, as well as outline how people can protect them for future generations.
The informative lectures are held at the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park visitor center and aquarium, mile marker 102.5 oceanside, from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday evenings through March 4.
The talks’ wide variety of topics include the invasive-yet-tasty lionfish, marine mammals’ specialized underwater vision, a geologic history of the Florida Keys, sustainable garden design and inspirational coral restoration efforts.
Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock State Park sponsors the free-admission informal talks, presented by field experts in marine and geological sciences, ornithology, ecology and biology to address the Florida Keys’ geology, history, ecology and fragile environment.
Park gates open at 7 p.m. for all lectures. There is no charge to enter the park to attend lectures.
Visitors are urged to arrive on time to assure seating in the auditorium. Attendees can bring a cushion for added comfort and organizers ask attendees to refrain from wearing fragrances. The auditorium is wheelchair accessible.
Event information: floridastateparks.org/
The first undersea park in the U.S., John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park encompasses approximately 70 nautical square miles. While the mangrove swamps and tropical hammocks in the park’s upland areas offer visitors a unique experience, it is the coral reefs and their associated marine life that bring most visitors to the park. Many enjoy the view of the reef from a glass-bottom boat tour, but visitors can get a closer look by scuba diving or snorkeling.