Pine Island Elementary fifth grade students and teachers with Captiva Cruises' Educator Richard Finkle on Cayo Costa as part of the No Child Left on Shore environmental education program in partnership with Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation.
Pine Island Elementary fifth grade students and teachers with Captiva Cruises' Educator Richard Finkle on Cayo Costa as part of the No Child Left on Shore environmental education program in partnership with Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation.
Fifth grade students from The Pine Island Elementary School took part in the most recent “No Child Left On Shore” Environmental Education Outreach Project Field Trip.

The NCLOS Program is a collaborative endeavor of Captiva Cruises and The Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation, which strives to provide the younger generation of Southwest Florida with an opportunity to experience first hand the invaluable resources of The Caloosahatchee watershed and our Back Bay Estuary habitats.

Students in Regina Notarianni and Nancy Benjamin’s fifth grade classes boarded Captiva Cruises motor catamaran vessel “The Playtime” at Lee County’s commercial Dock on Pine Island and cruised to Cayo Costa State Park.

While traveling on the waters of Pine Island Sound students marveled at the shallow sea grass beds and were thrilled with the wildlife they encountered which included Dolphins, White Pelicans, Osprey, Great Blue Herons, a Belted Kingfisher, and Brown Pelicans. Students had the opportunity to explore the tidal zones on the protected barrier island recording their observations of the evidence of sea life washed in by waves and tides. Sand dollars were found with total delight and students were amazed with the mangrove swamp they took in from the boardwalk leading them to the Gulf Beach.

Captiva Cruises and SCCF saw a real need to try to provide these first hand experiential field trips. Cuts in public funding for school environmental education field trips have drastically reduced the number of students who can experience for themselves the importance of our coastal environment.

Many families within Southwest Florida, especially those with language, cultural, physical and economic barriers, do not have the means to get out on the water. It is this segment of our Southwest Florida community that SCCF and Captiva Cruises is reaching out to and would like to engage by providing them with the opportunity to take part in one of these first hand learning experiences.

For additional information about this NCLOS initiative, or to sponsor a local youth group field trip, contact SCCF (www.sccf.org) at (239) 472-2329 0r Captiva Cruises (www.captivacruises.com) at (239) 472-5300.