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Third Graders Visit The Marine Sanctuary for a Glass Bottom Boat Tour

The National Marine Sanctuary held two glass bottom boat tours for Third Graders from both Sanborn and Alpena. There was also another glass bottom boat tour for a Middle School class from Zeeland, Michigan. Daniel Moffatt, the Marine Sanctuary’s Stewardship and Education Specialist details the amount of work and effort that goes into the glass bottom boat tours, “So, right now May is a crazy month for us. We got students in school but the weather is getting nice, it’s about to be field season, our divers from NOAA are out putting buoys on the wrecks. That allows us to get out and do these classroom cruises.”

Daniel adds, “We take kids as early as Third Grade to High School students, but the key components to these trips is experience.” He continues, “Some of these kids have never been on a boat before, most have never been on a glass bottom boat, and so the experience of getting out on the water and getting a different perspective and seeing some of the history that some of the humans have left behind at the bottom of the lakes is a real treasure of an experience.”

With the classroom glass boat tours starting at the Third grade level and finishing at the High School level, Daniel does list some of the challenges that goes into educating such a wide range of students, “We live in an amazing place in Alpena, Michigan and the surrounding areas. It’s really important, we think here, that students get an idea of how special of a place it is with the natural resources that are here, especially within the lakes.” Daniel said, “I think the biggest takeaway that I want them to understand is that the great lakes are worth protecting and preserving. That’s our mission here, to preserve and protect the great things in the Great Lakes. So, if they walk away with a good experience and thinking, ‘Man this is something I want to share with my friends and family and I want to help protect the Great Lakes’ then I think we’ve done our job.”