Protection: Education officer JP Skinner explained about proposals to turn the Sargasso Sea into a Marine Protected Area. *Photo by Sarah Lagan
Protection: Education officer JP Skinner explained about proposals to turn the Sargasso Sea into a Marine Protected Area. *Photo by Sarah Lagan
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FRIDAY, JAN. 25: Students have been learning about the importance of the Sargasso Sea and the many creatures that depend on it, as part of an interactive programme that started this month.

The Expedition: Sargasso project is part of the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences’ Explorer Programme that take place over two weeks.

The Sargasso Sea, which surrounds Bermuda, is known as the Golden Rainforest for its biodiversity.

P4 to P6 students from St George’s Prep learned about ocean acidification caused by pollution, about the different stages of the food web and were even introduced to some of the live animals that live in the vast blankets of Sargasso seaweed found floating on the Sargasso Sea.

Education officer at BIOS JP Skinner gave an introductory talk at the start of the session as children sat under a blanket of orange streamers and balloons made to look like Sargasso weed. He explained how ocean acidification caused by chemicals like Co2 could result in the collapse of the food chain if we don’t stop polluting the planet.

He then showed a short film about ocean acidification that was made and presented by interns at BIOS.

The students then visited eight stations around the room each focussing on a different aspect of the Sargasso Sea.

One station focussed on gyres — great circular ocean currents that bend due to the Corolis Effect cause by the spinning of the earth. The students also looked at tiny sea creatures through microscopes, learned about the different survival techniques of creatures that live in the Sargasso weed such as camoflague, and learned about the different types of algae found.

Another station was dedicated to the proposal to turn the Sargasso Sea into a Marine Protected Area. Numerous schools will take part in the programme over the coming weeks. BIOS runs numerous educational programmes including the Waterstart and Marine Science Internship programmes that take place each summer.

For more information about BIOS programmes visit www.bios.edu.