BY DANIELA AVA
At Gumbo Limbo Nature Center in Boca, even the smallest action helps make a huge impact in the marine environment.
Giving back to the community is a key component in receiving a Lynn education. However, one must not neglect to give back to the marine environment, or help preserve the safety of endangered species. At Gumbo Limbo, everyone is welcome to help out in any way they can.
“I volunteered in Gumbo Limbo for a few months,” said William Pacanis, sophomore. “The things that I learned there were amazing.”
Gumbo Limbo is a 20-acre coastal and marine environmental center that protects a barrier island, home to a variety of plants and animals that are rare or endangered. This is made possible by the commitment of their staff, many of which are volunteers.
In order to aid this cause, students can become a member and donate money to fund Gumbo Limbo’s research and resources, volunteer their time, or attend the center to learn about the ways they can help their surrounding marine environment.
“I go to the beach everyday,” said Luis Guinand, senior. “I would definitely like to learn about marine preservation.”
Gumbo Limbo’s research takes place in labs at Florida Atlantic University. There, scientists collect valuable research that enhances their understanding of sea turtle behavior, physiology and ecology. It also creates practical application in the conservation of sea turtles and other marine life.
A main attraction for Gumbo Limbo is that visitors can see sharks, turtles and many different varieties of fish. In addition, people can actually adopt a sea turtle and take it home. Sea turtles are endangered because of collisions with boats, artificial lighting, fishing gear, loss of nesting habitats and pollution; it is safer for them to go to a loving home as opposed to being in the wild.
“Once I heard of this I got so excited,” said Gabriela Ibarra, freshman. ”I cannot wait to adopt a cute turtle.”
Located at 1801 North Ocean Boulevard, Boca Raton, Gumbo Limbo’s hours of visitation are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Mondays through Saturdays, and 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays. There is a suggested $5 donation per person upon admission, and free parking is provided on the property.
There are a few safety rules one must follow when visiting, so for a full list of policies as well as their monthly calendar, one can check their website at www.gumbolimbo.org. For more information, call (561) 544-8605.