The Coastal Star

Tots & Teens: Sharkfest returns to Sandoway

Kids got a chance to have their pictures taken behind the jaws of a Great White Shark. Photo provided

By Janis Fontaine

    Sandoway Discovery Center will be shark central on Jan. 27 when Sharkfest 2018, a day of fun, educational activities for all ages, takes place there.
    “We’ll have local shark groups, researchers and people from FAU’s shark lab on hand to talk about sharks,” said Evan Orellana, director of education and animal care at Sandoway. Lectures and presentations are part of the plan, as are kids’ activities like crafts and games out on the front lawn, where the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium and local conservation organizations will have exhibits.
    In the Sandoway House Nature Center, visitors can learn about Delray Beach’s history, explore Southeast Florida’s largest private shell collection, get an up-close view of some of Florida’s native and invasive reptile species and meet sharks, stingrays and other fish at the coral reef pool. Orellano says sharks are often misunderstood while charismatic marine animals like sea turtles get more attention. He welcomes the opportunity to talk about the amazing things sharks do and what we can do to protect them. It all starts with education.
    “We’re focused on shark conservation, and coastal conservation,” executive director Danica Sanborn said.
     Sandoway has been educating people about South Florida’s fragile marine and freshwater environments for almost 20 years, but this is just the second year for Sharkfest. About 300 people came to Sharkfest in 2017.
    “It’s a nice, family-friendly, community event,” Sanborn said.

If You Go
When: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 27
Where: Sandoway Discovery Center, 142 S. Ocean Blvd., Delray Beach
Admission: Lawn activities are free; admission to the center is $5.
Info: 274-7263; www.sandoway.org

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