This year, we are creating Coastal Expo kits. These kits will be made available to local schools, organizations, and communities that are interested in hosting their own Coastal Expo. The kit will provide all the necessary information needed to conduct a Coastal Expo in your community!
If you are interested in bringing the coast to your school or community or have any questions, please contact Holly Grand at firstname.lastname@example.org
These outreach events include hands-on activities to bring the wonders of
our coastal environments to the public.
Touch and learn about crabs at our crab-shaped pool. Past sandboxes have held fiddler crabs, hermit crabs, and blue crabs. The crab marsh has sand and local marsh plants that create a “true” habitat for the visiting crabs. Children and adults will learn about where the crabs live, what the crabs eat, who eats the crabs, the importance of marsh habitat, and why we should care about this. (Back to Top)
A V-shaped, glass trough is filled with water, rocks, and native aquatic plants to replicate the structure of a natural stream. The glass-bottom allows visitors to see the 3-D picture of a stream and see how fish and invertebrates can “hide” from predators. The stream also demonstrates the importance of habitat and how aquatic insects can be water quality indicators. Ever wonder about the quality of your local stream? Now you will be able to tell just by looking at the insects! (Back to Top)
Mystery Fish Kill Game
Become an honorary member of the Kills and Spills Team by solving the mysterious fish kill, just like a TPWD biologist! Real clues, pictures, and facts are used to help teach how fish kills can be caused by natural conditions and/or human contamination. The circumstances of the fish kill and the clues are used to communicate the physical and biological characteristics of coastal ecosystems. Each participant is rewarded with a Kills and Spills Team sticker. (Back to Top)
Wooden boxes with coastal artifacts inside and an opening at one end encourage participants to identify the contents of the box by touch. This is a fun way to learn about the diversity of our coastal habitats and objects. (Back to Top)
Coastal Fisheries Touch Tanks
Coastal fisheries staff provide live coastal animals for you to touch, observe, and explore. Critters such as fish, snails, clams, crabs, sea stars, and sea urchins allow you to see and feel the difference between the many wonders found in our bays, estuaries, and ocean. (Back to Top)
Show your artistic talents with our fish printing station. Create artwork inspired by a fish that does not smell fishy! Washable paints are painted on a rubber fish and then “printed” on the corresponding paper that lists facts about each fish on the back. Choose from a variety of different types of fish. (Back to Top)
Ever wonder what washes up on the Texas coast? This is the place to see the marvels that the ocean carries around the world. Touch, see, and learn about the shells, sea beans, feathers, plastics, and bones that have been found on your coastline. (Back to Top)
Want to catch a REAL fish? Children can try their hands at fishing and may hook a live catfish! (Program availability depends on funding) (Back to Top)
Fish Rubbing Tables
Make a coastal fish, mammal, or invertebrate appear by rubbing a crayon on a piece of paper. The raised picture below the paper will appear, and so will fun facts about your animal. (Back to Top)
Coastal Fishing (Backyard Bass)
Children and adults learn to cast Zebco-type rods and reels. The goal is to “catch” a plastic fish using a special weight that “hooks” the fish. Each player receives a prize. (Back to Top)
Kids learn about what types of reels they can use, how to identify fish, fishing rules and regulations, and a whole lot more! Once they have completed all the hands-on activities, they become a Junior Angler and receive a fish pin and a certificate. (Depends on availability) (Back to Top)
Learn how to enter a canoe, how to properly fit a life jacket, and how to toss a life preserver during this interactive activity. This is a fun way to learn about boating and water safety. (Depends on availability) (Back to Top)
Ever tracked an animal before, or wondered about tracks that you have seen? The Hunter Education program will teach you what animals are leaving those tracks and how to be a safe hunter. (Depends on availability)(Back to Top)
Challenge yourself to a rock-climbing wall and see if you can ring the bell at the top!
(Program availability depends on funding)
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Do you know of other activities that would increase awareness of our coastal
environments? Let us know! Please e-mail Holly Grand or call 361-825-3993.