Mississippi Aquarium offering weekly eco-tours throughout June and July

Last Friday the Mississippi Aquarium partnered with Ship Island Excursions to launch their new eco-tours.

It’s a 90-minute voyage where you’ll learn about the wildlife and unique ecology of the Gulf Coast.

“I liked seeing the dolphins in the water. I don’t really see this that much because I don’t live in Mississippi. I live in Wichita, Kansas.” The dolphins stole the show during the aquarium’s eco-tours, winning the hearts of Corryn McDermott and her little sister just like they did for pretty much everyone onboard.

For Dr. Holley Muraco, director of research at the Mississippi Aquarium, seeing guests connect to wildlife, especially those needing our conservation efforts, means the first voyage was a success. “The biggest thing I wanted everyone to experience is how special of a place that we live in. Sometimes I think we take it for granted and I think I said it a few times on the cruise, but I’m still in awe of the amazing ecosystem we have here.”

Many passengers were pointing and gazing in wonder including the aquarium’s summer interns who were conducting research during the voyage, many of them like Corryn are not from the Coast. Mississippi Aquarium Intern Sarah Hobbs said, “It’s really cool for me to learn more about the Sound and the animals here and how the dissolved oxygen and salinity levels actually effect all the life and the ecosystems that goes around here. It’s cool to take those measurements and apply them to what we’re seeing in the sound.”

During the voyage, interns photographed dolphin fins, listened to dolphin calls with a hydrophone, and checked salinity levels and oxygen levels. All the research was done to better understand the Mississippi Sound and shared with passengers. “They all care too. They all are for the most part from here. It’s really cool to relate the information to them and have them take an interest in it and understand what’s going on.”

Eco tours set sail from the Gulfport Small Craft Harbor at 4 p.m. every Friday in June and July.

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