Education opportunities and marine studies are coming to life with the completion of USM’s new marine education center at Cedar Point in Ocean Springs.
News 25’s Toni Miles takes us to today’s dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony and show us how the new site is reaching new heights when it comes to interactive education and research.
Spring is upon us and it’s out with the old and in with the new as more than a hundred people flocked to the dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony for USM’s new marine education center on Monday. With plans unveiled back in 2015, this state of the art facility sits on ten acres of land in Ocean Springs and has been years in the making. While construction was underway, researcher and educators worked out of trailers after Katrina destroyed the former site. USM’s School of Ocean Science and Engineering Director Dr. Monty Graham said, “The commitment these people have to just maintain the course to marine education over these past 13 years. These people have just come through so many struggles to rebuild. There’s a saying they have about resilience, it’s not to bounce back, but to bounce forward. You think about where this facility is and how much further forward we’re bouncing than where we were before Katrina. It’s just fantastic.”
The center is a branch of USM’s School of Ocean Science and Technology and is the education and outreach arm of the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory. “We are interested in pulling students from all over the state, teaching them about coastal resiliency, coastal sciences,” said Dr. Graham.
When it comes to the environment what better way to learn about it than to be a part of it. A suspension bridge is one of the amenities that was built to bridge the gap between man and nature, especially when it comes to learning about nature. USM MEC Marine Educator Dani Bailey said, “We pride ourselves on a lot of our hands on activities. We take them out. We can go kayaking. We have a nature trail. We have fish and shark dissections. We’re able to teach them about plankton and dichotomous keys as well as predatory birds and do some owl pellet dissections, a lot of activities to get them immersed in our environment.”