Wednesday, April 6, 2011

GTM Research Reserve: Day 1 of a whole new way to welcome visitors

You may have always thought of this place as "Guana", especially if you grew up in St. Augustine or Ponte Vedra. You may have wondered about it, as you passed through, driving up or down the coast on A1A. In fairness, you may not have considered it at all. But because some of us believe it's one of the rare gifts of beauty in what is admittedly a generally beautiful state, it seemed worthy of its own blog and regular communications for those of you who want to learn more.

Coming soon are Facebook pages and a Twitter account, which will be great fun and will, we hope, open whole new doors of communication. We'll be featuring news from the Friends of GTML Reserve newsletter, updates on activities, and discussions with dedicated volunteers. As some of you know, March is the quiet month between the time the North Atlantic Right Whales leave our waters, where they have given birth to their calves in the quiet winter, and the time the sea turtles begin to return to our beaches to lay their eggs.

We'll be learning, sharing and growing here, with a focus on the intriguing estuarine ecosystem we hold delicately balanced in our backyards. We'd love to know what YOU want to know. Are you wondering what the heck that fossilized bone-looking thing you found on the beach might be? Interested in learning about all the flora and fauna at home in The Reserve? Want to learn more about pre- and post-Columbian peoples and their presence and influence here? We'll have all that and so much more. There's so much going on here, from photo tours to fossil identification classes to archaeological discoveries of pre-Columbian artifacts, to simple observation of a breathtaking array of species as diverse as tiny beach mice and delicate sea oats, and North Atlantic Right Whales and the few extant varieties of sea turtles nesting in the shelter of the dunes.

Please share questions and comments with us. You can do this by following the blog (which has space for this dialogue) or you can email us directly at If you post questions or comments to the blog, we'll try to get to those within 24 hours. Please follow the blog for regular updates or follow us on Twitter @GTMReserve.  So: welcome! Share your stories, your photos, your questions and insights. It's a fine day for a walk at Guana Tolomato Matanzas Marine Estuarine Research Reserve. You can call us The Reserve. :)

--posted by Angela Christensen

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