Gulf Guardian Award Winners 2003
Youth/Education Category - 3rd Place
|Company:||Gulf Specimen Marine Lab (GSML), Panacea, FL|
|Project Name:||40 Years of Gulf Protection and Conservation Education|
GSML has devoted efforts over 40 years to the goals to display marine/natural environments that exist in the Gulf coast in their marine laboratory, where "touch tanks" allow visitors to hold animals, to emphasize the connection and interdependence of the coastal ocean to adjacent coastal forests, springs, rivers and marshes, and to highlight the use of marine life in scientific/biomedical research. GSML started in 1963 to satisfy these needs.
GSML has been active in campaigns to protect coastal wetlands, sea turtles, marine resources and public lands since the early 1970s, often in times and places where the social and professional costs of such environmental advocacy were very high. With few foundations in the area to offer support, GSML has struggled along in a harsh financial environment year after year, and has grown into a much visited facility. Over time, GSML's board of directors and employees have stood firm, and weathered opposition, documented via years of press clippings. GSML members have appeared on numerous national television programs from New York to San Francisco, and hundreds of appearances in Gulf coastal television and newspapers, published scores of articles in publications including Sports Illustrated, National Geographic, Scientific American, and Audubon, and in several documentaries over the years. They have authored eight books that have helped to elevate global awareness of Gulf coast estuaries and marshes.