Published: October 19, 2023
Environmental Studies and Biology Departments To Teach Children About Invasive Species
The University of Tampa will host a children’s fishing tournament on Sunday, Oct. 29, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., run by faculty, staff and students in the environmental studies and biology departments. The event will take place on the west side of the Hillsborough River between UT’s Cass Building and Plant Park.
The tournament, titled the ICK Fishing Tournament (Invasive and Cichlid Kid Fishing Tournament), will focus on teaching youth ages 5-15 about the role of invasive species in their community. Coordinators of the event include Bridgette Froeschke, associate professor of environmental studies; Mark McRae and Lori McRae, associate professors of biology; Louis John Ambrosio, marine science field station coordinator; and around 15 students from both departments.
Around 50 children will participate in activities across five stations: two stations for rod-and-reel fishing along the river; one station for using minnow traps to catch invasive fish in Plant Creek; one station for educational games; and one station that will lead to a scavenger hunt to discover invasive animals around the UT campus. Prizes donated by local stakeholders will be awarded to those who catch the highest variety of invasive fish, the highest quantity of invasive fish and the invasive fish with the largest size.
“The ICK Fishing Tournament is a fun and educational experience that empowers our young community members to become environmental stewards, learn about local aquatic ecosystems and have a blast while doing it,” said Froeschke. “We believe that by engaging our children in conservation efforts, we're shaping a brighter, more environmentally responsible future.”
The tournament is made possible by the Tampa Bay Estuary Program’s Mini-Grants, awards that fund environmental restoration and education projects in the community.