Flagler College students, who are part of the GTM Research Reserve’s T.O.T.E. (Teachers on the Estuary) program, led and organized a marine debris cleanup at the St. Augustine Municipal Marina. The T.O.T.E. program is a teacher training initiative of the National Estuarine Research Reserve System that strives to incorporate estuary and watershed education into local classrooms. The training is research and field-based, providing students with experiential learning. By incorporating stewardship into their curriculum, students not only give back to their community, they also contribute to the NERRS research goals. Students found that plastic (39%) and foam (34%) pieces dominated the majority of debris found, followed by caps, lids and food wrappers (17%). This information is important to understanding the appropriate policy measures necessary to reduce pollution in our local waters.

For more information about the T.O.T.E. program, click here. For more information about GTM Research Reserve, please visit our website or call 904-823-4500.