WINTER NATURE PROGRAM

Birds, butterflies, sea turtles and more! Beaches, bayous and coastal prairie! Galveston Island offers an amazing natural array of fauna, flora and lots of opportunity to enjoy and explore the outdoors even in the winter months. Whether you are visiting the island or call it home, please come along and be introduced to the wonderful natural world of Galveston Island. Join us for any or all of the outings and talks. Most of the activities REQUIRE an RSVP and you’ll find it’s quite easy to reserve your spot. Sign up info is noted on each activity that requires an RSVP.

These activities are designed for adults 18 years or older unless otherwise noted.

2020 Schedule of Winter Nature Activities

East End Lagoon Nature Preserve Trail Walk


January 14, Tuesday, 2:00pm – 3:00pm, Free
Leader: GINTC Staff or Volunteer
Where: Directions to be emailed prior to the activity
SPACE LIMITED
Click here to register

Join GINTC staff/volunteers for a nature walk at the East End Lagoon Nature Preserve. As you explore the Preserve, you will learn about the unique habitats that encompass it and view a variety of birds that depend on the Preserve for food and shelter.

Plover Walk

Photo: Sally Pachulski

January 16, Thursday, 9:00am – 11:00am, Free
Leader: Master Naturalist Sally Pachulski
Where: Directions to be emailed prior to the activity
SPACE LIMITED
Click here to register

Galveston Island is host to many wintering plovers.  We are so lucky to have Piping Plovers, Snowy Plovers, Semipalmated Plovers, Wilson’s Plovers and Black-bellied Plovers along with a plover almost everyone knows, the Killdeer.

Come along with Sally Pachulski who monitors Piping Plovers in Maine each summer. We will learn the subtle differences that help distinguish all the different types of plovers. We will also probably see many other types of shorebirds.  We will meet onsite and walk 1 or 2 miles along the beach learning about and searching for plovers!  Please bring a hat, sunscreen, water, binoculars (if you have them) and appropriate clothing for the weather.

Galveston County Audubon Group Birding Presentation: The Birds of Galveston Island State Park


January 16, Thursday, 7:00pm, Free
Presenter: Assistant Park Superintendent, Kyle O’Haver
Where: Wortham Auditorium, Rosenberg Library, 2310 Sealy
No RSVP necessary

Learn about what a Winter Wonderland of Coastal Prairie and Marsh does to attract passerines and what birds to expect. Our coastal habitat is vitally important for many bird species. Let’s look at some of the most critically endangered habitat an learn about who comes to visit and when to expect them.

Microplastics in the Gulf of Mexico

January 17, Friday, 10:00am – noon, Free
Presenter: Theresa Morris
Where: Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Campus, 4700 Broadway, (enter lobby and go left following the signs to OLLI)
RSVP Required: Phone 409.763.5604 or email olli@utmb.edu

Microplastics in our oceans are detrimental to marine wildlife and potential impacts on humans are not fully understood.  Microplastics are plastic debris smaller than 5mm. Estimates suggest up to 236,000 metric tons exist in worldwide oceans. Turtle Island Restoration Network is participating in a project that stretches across the Gulf of Mexico to determine the amount of microplastics in our beach sand and water.

This presentation will include current information and research on this issue as well as possible methods for turning this problem into a solution. Come learn how your actions can result in positive change for the environment.

Galveston County Audubon Group Birding Field Trip to Galveston Island State Park


January 18, Saturday, 8:30am, Free
Where: Meeting at Nature Center on bay side of GISP
No RSVP necessary

Our local Galveston County Audubon Group welcomes Winter Texans and residents to participate in our monthly field trip.

Galveston Bay Foundation’s Oyster Reef Restoration Efforts

January 20, Monday, 10:00am – 11:00am, Free
Presenter: Michael Niebuhr, Habitat Restoration Coordinator
Where: Moody Gardens Aquarium Coral Room
Click here to register

Oysters are more than just a tasty treat; they are also vital to the health and productivity to Galveston Bay. Galveston Bay Foundation developed an Oyster Shell Recycling Program to be able to reuse shucked oyster shells in reef restoration efforts throughout the Bay. Come learn about this process from start to finish, Galveston Bay Foundation’s oyster restoration efforts throughout the bay, and ways you can get involved.

Beginning Birding by Birding for Fun

Photo by Bobby Rivers

Photo: Bobby Rivers

January 21, Tuesday, 10:00am – noon, Free
Presenter: Kristine Rivers
Where: Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Campus, 4700 Broadway (enter lobby and go left following the signs for OLLI)
RSVP Required: Phone 409.763.5604 or email olli@utmb.edu

Are you one of the millions of people who enjoy watching birds, and would like to learn more about birding? If so, join us for this workshop where you’ll find out what to wear and what to bring with you, learn how to select binoculars and field guides, and get a closer look at some of the amazing birds that are common in our area.

Lionfish : Reef Raiders in the Gulf

January 22, Wednesday, 1:30pm – 3:30pm, Free
Presenter:  Kelly Drinnen, Education & Outreach Specialist Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary.
Where: Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Campus, 4700 Broadway, (enter lobby and go left following the signs to OLLI)
RSVP Required: Phone 409.763.5604 or email olli@utmb.edu

In recent years, Indo-Pacific lionfish have been found in coral reefs throughout the southeast Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean. While scientists aren’t sure exactly how they got there, it’s most likely that people dumped unwanted lionfish from home aquariums into the Atlantic off the Florida coast. Because of their voracious appetites, rapid reproduction rate, and lack of natural predators, these invasive lionfish pose a serious threat to coral reefs like the Flower Garden Banks off the Texas coast, with potential long-term consequences for native fish communities, habitats, and entire ecosystems. Visit with us to learn the details of this invasion and take a look inside some lionfish as we dissect them to figure out what they’ve been eating.

Understanding and Using Your Birding Field Guide

January 23, Thursday, 1:30pm – 3:30pm, Free
Presenter: Kristine Rivers
Where: Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Campus, 4700 Broadway, (enter lobby and go left following the signs to OLLI)
RSVP Required: Phone 409.763.5604 or email olli@utmb.edu

When you’re just starting out, using your field guide to try to identify a bird in the field can be a little difficult! We’ll help you understand terminology, narrow down where to look in your field guide, and talk about different identification methods using size and shape, behavior and habitat clues. Then you’ll have a chance to practice your identification skills, so be sure to bring your field guide with you!

Brewding 101 – Pelican, Cormorants and Willets….Oh my!

January 23, Thursday, 4:30pm – 6ish, Free (Seawall parking required)
Leader: Greg Whittaker
Where: Jimmy’s on the Pier, 9001 Seawall
Click here to register

Informal birdwatching opportunity and discussion in a setting that lends itself to enjoying nature with a beverage of choice.  Come visit with a transplanted northerner who has been enjoying Galveston’s diverse bird-life, and tasty beer for many years.  Conversation and bird viewing will concentrate on pelicans, cormorants and the various shore birds that commonly use the nearshore habitats.

Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council’s Sea Turtle Saturday at Moody Gardens    

Photo: Steven Stones

January 25, Saturday, 8:00am – noon
Presenters: Dr. Pamela Plotkin, Dr. Donna Shaver, Joanie Steinhaus
Where: Moody Gardens
Tickets: $15    SOLD OUT!

Make plans to attend Galveston’s ever popular annual sea turtle symposium on Saturday, January 25, as we celebrate the 15th anniversary of Sea Turtle Saturday!  This informative and engaging seminar presented by the Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council (GINTC) will be hosted by Moody Gardens.

Our Sea Turtle Saturday presenters will include Dr. Pamela Plotkin, Dr. Donna Shaver, and Galveston’s own Joanie Steinhaus of Turtle Island Restoration Network.

Dr. Plotkin, Director of the Texas Sea Grant College Program, is a marine scientist who has spent most of her career conducting research to inform and influence domestic and international policies and conservation practices. She has received awards for her work furthering the recovery of the Texas State Sea Turtle – the Kemp’s ridley.

Dr. Shaver is the Chief of the Division of Sea Turtle Science and Recovery for the National Park Service at Padre Island National Seashore. She has worked with sea turtles for the past 39 years. She oversees a variety of sea turtle research and conservation projects conducted in Texas and is the coordinator of the Sea Turtle Stranding and Salvage Network.

Joanie Steinhaus is the Program Director of Turtle Island Restoration Network- Gulf of Mexico. She has worked with a variety of organizations both locally and statewide to advance conservation and sustainability issues and has been working in sea turtle protection since 2013. Her passion and knowledge of Texas and the Texas environment is shown in her outreach work to politicians, community groups and the general public to help them understand the need for protection of local flora and fauna.

Come learn about sea turtles from the state’s leading authorities on these fascinating creatures and find out how you can become involved in conservation efforts.

This once a year event sells out quickly as space is limited.

Event registration is $15. Registrants must be at least 12 years old and if under 18, must be accompanied by an adult.

Light breakfast, coffee and juice will be served.

Turtle Talk by Turtle Island Restoration Network

Photo: Ron Wooten

January 28, Tuesday, 10:00am – noon, Free
Presenter: Joanie Steinhaus, Campaign Director
Where: Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Campus, 4700 Broadway, (enter lobby and go left following the signs to OLLI)
RSVP Required: Phone 409.763.5604 or email olli@utmb.edu

Get involved! This presentation will explore Sea Turtle Conservation and Community Involvement. You’ll learn that five of the seven species of sea turtles that exist worldwide visit the Gulf of Mexico. The highly endangered Kemps Ridley nests on Texas beaches.  Learn about these ancient reptiles, the serious threats they face and actions you can take to help them. The presentation will include an update on the current status of the Kemps Ridley, the rarest sea turtle and the world’s most critically endangered.

Growing Native Plants for Birds, Bees and Butterflies


January 29, Wednesday, 10:00am – noon, Free
Presenter: Texas Master Naturalist Debra Pence
Where: Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Campus, 4700 Broadway, (enter lobby and go left following the signs to OLLI)
RSVP Required: Phone 409.763.5604 or emaiolli@utmb.edu

Join Debra for a seminar focused on creating a pollinator/nature habitat in your own backyard. We will focus on plants native to Texas but you will be able to apply the methods wherever you live.

Brewding 201 – A Day at the Beach

Forsters Terns

Photo: Kristine Rivers

January 30, Thursday, 4:30pm – 6ish, Free
Leader: Greg Whittaker
Where: Woody’s Beach Bar, 11149 Termini San Luis Pass Rd
Click here to register

Informal birdwatching opportunity and discussion in a setting that lends itself to enjoying nature with a beverage of choice.  Come visit with a transplanted northerner who has been enjoying Galveston’s diverse bird-life, and tasty beer for many years.  Conversation and bird viewing will concentrate on gulls, terns and beach habitat shore birds that are likely to be viewed from the scenic deck.

The Wildlife of the Coastal Heritage Preserve Talk

February 4, Tuesday, 10:00am – noon, Free
Presenter: Greg Hall, Habitat and Stewardship Coordinator, Artist Boat
Where: Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Campus, 4700 Broadway, (enter lobby and go left following the signs to OLLI)
RSVP Required: Phone 409.763.5604 or emaiolli@utmb.edu

Catch a glimpse of the unique wildlife of the Coastal Prairie that exists inside Artist Boat’s 698-acre Prairie Preserve, the Coastal Heritage Preserve.  This protected swath of contiguous preserved coastal prairie is one of Galveston Island’s last remaining sanctuaries for the magnificent wildlife that exists balanced on the brink and is accessible for pre-arranged education and stewardship group activities.  Please come and enjoy the interpretation of this wonderful landscape and its residents.

This talk is a great preview to what you will see if you participate in the field trip the following day.

The Wildlife of the Coastal Heritage Preserve Field Trip


February 5, Wednesday, 2:00pm – 4:00pm, Free
Presenter: Greg Hall, Habitat and Stewardship Coordinator, Artist Boat
Where: Directions to the Coastal Heritage Preserve will be emailed prior to the field trip
SPACE LIMITED
Click here to register

Catch a glimpse of the unique wildlife of the Coastal Prairie that exists inside Artist Boat’s 698-acre Prairie Preserve, the Coastal Heritage Preserve.  This protected swath of contiguous preserved coastal prairie is one of Galveston Island’s last remaining sanctuaries for the magnificent wildlife that exists balanced on the brink and is accessible for pre-arranged education and stewardship group activities.  Please come and enjoy the interpretation of this wonderful landscape and its residents.

This is a great activity to combine with The Wildlife of the Coastal Heritage Preserve Talk the day prior!

Moody Gardens Conservation Series: Florida Reef Tract Rescue Project 

February 5, Wednesday, 10:30am – noon, Free
Presenters: Moody Gardens Staff
Where: Moody Gardens Aquarium Pompano Room
Click here to register

In 2014 an aggressive disease process began moving across the 360-mile-long Florida Reef Tract.  Researchers monitored the spread of this phenomenon known as Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease and worked to determine the cause and potential solutions.  In late 2018 it became apparent that a rescue of healthy corals from the wild would be necessary to preserve genetic diversity and even save a few of the most affected species from outright extirpation from the reef tract.  Come hear from Moody Gardens’ Biologists about how the AZA Zoo and Aquarium community took a leading role in providing safe havens for the 15 species of stony corals most at risk and learn what the longer-term process will involve to restore this iconic barrier reef system to a healthy state.

Undersea Robotics, Seaside Chat, NOAA Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary

February 5, Wednesday, 6:30pm – 7:30pm, Free
Presenter: Eric Glidden, University of NC Wilmington-Underwater Vehicle Program*
Where: Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary offices 4700 Avenue U, Building 216, Galveston, TX 77551
For more details & info, go to https://flowergarden.noaa.gov/education/seasidechats.html

Discover how remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) support seafloor research and how technology enhances our capability to capture data from the ocean’s depths.

Seaside Chats are informal presentations about ocean topics associated with Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary and the Gulf of Mexico.  Presentations are free and last for one hour. Our speakers include sanctuary staff and guests from partner organizations. Anyone is welcome to attend, but presentation style is most suited to those in middle school and above. No need to RSVP, just drop in and enjoy.

Brewding 301 – A Crane-tastic Happy Hour

Photo: Barbara Rabek

February 6, Thursday, 4:30pm – 6ish, Free
Leader: Greg Whittaker
Where: Tin Cup’s Caddy Shack, 9020 Stewart Rd
Click here to register

Informal birdwatching opportunity and discussion in a setting that lends itself to enjoying nature with a beverage of choice.  Come visit with a transplanted northerner who has been enjoying Galveston’s diverse bird-life, and tasty beer for many years.  Conversation and bird viewing will concentrate on Sandhill Cranes and various other species that are likely to be viewed from the scenic deck.

Birding 101 @ Moody Gardens


February 8, Saturday, 9:00am – noon, Free
Presenter:  Greg Whittaker
Where: Moody Gardens – Visitor’s Center 4-D theater
Click here to register

We will start out in a theater setting with a short introductory level presentation on birdwatching.  We will then do a walking tour of the Moody Gardens outdoor property areas that are generally loaded with wintering birds.  No extreme terrain, but weather dependent, so dress appropriately for a couple hours outside.  Binoculars and bird ID books are suggested, but not required – come as you are and appreciate what nature has to offer.

Moody Gardens Conservation Series: Dive Operations Field Projects 

Photo courtesy of Moody Gardens

February 12, Wednesday, 10:30am – noon, Free
Presenters:  Moody Gardens Staff
Where: Moody Gardens Aquarium Pompano Room
Click here to register

The Moody Gardens Dive Program is excited to present successful conservation and research initiatives that have driven dive program growth three-fold. These projects help inform management of regional aquatic resources through research and monitoring projects, and our team provides a resource of trained divers to support these projects and generate institutional benefits in the process. Supporting routine coastal resource management efforts for Texas’ Artificial Reef Program and NOAA’s Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary is the foundation of our scientific diving operations, plus collective opportunities for scientific partnerships, and institutional recognition of conservation and research value along the way. Collaborating with the United States Geological Survey, Florida Atlantic University and Rice University amplified these science diver resources, public outreach capability, and participation in conservation and research efforts. Come learn about our projects firsthand!

Mysteries of Black Corals, Seaside Chat, NOAA Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary

February 12, Wednesday, 6:30pm – 7:30pm, Free
Presenter: Mercer Brugler, NYC College of Technology (CUNY) Black Coral Lab
Where: Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary offices 4700 Avenue U, Building 216, Galveston, TX 77551
For more details & info, go to https://flowergarden.noaa.gov/education/seasidechats.html 

Find out what we’ve learned about black corals in the Gulf of Mexico through DNA, structure, and age studies and hear about some of the work accomplished through the live telepresence trip last August.

Seaside Chats are informal presentations about ocean topics associated with Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary and the Gulf of Mexico. Presentations are free and last for one hour. Our speakers include sanctuary staff and guests from partner organizations. Anyone is welcome to attend, but presentation style is most suited to those in middle school and above. No need to RSVP, just drop in and enjoy.

Rat-a-tat-tat! Who’s That? Nature’s Drummers

Photo: Bobby Rivers

February 13, Thursday, 1:30pm – 3:30pm, Free
Presenter: Kristine Rivers of Birding for Fun!
Where: Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Campus, 4700 Broadway, (enter lobby and go left following the signs to OLLI)
RSVP Required: Phone 409.763.5604 or email olli@utmb.edu

Woodpeckers are fascinating birds with amazing physiological adaptations and behavioral habits. This presentation discusses how their anatomical structure protects them from injury, then takes a closer look at the species that are common in our area.

Plover Walk    

Photo: Sally Pachulski

February 13, Thursday, 9:00am – 11:00am, Free
Leader: Master Naturalist Sally Pachulski
Where: Directions to be emailed prior to the activity
SPACE LIMITED
Click here to register

Galveston Island is host to many wintering plovers.  We are so lucky to have Piping Plovers, Snowy Plovers, Semipalmated Plovers, Wilson’s Plovers and Black-bellied Plovers along with a plover almost everyone knows, the Killdeer.

Come along with Sally Pachulski who monitors Piping Plovers in Maine each summer.  We will learn the subtle differences that help distinguish all the different types of plovers.  We will also probably see many other types of shorebirds.  We will meet onsite and walk 1 or 2 miles along the beach learning about and searching for plovers!  Please bring a hat, sunscreen, water, binoculars (if you have them) and appropriate clothing for the weather.

Galveston County Audubon Group Birding Presentation: Winter Birding on the Texas City Dike 

February 13, Thursday, 7:00pm, Free
Presenter: Kristine Rivers, Birding for Fun
Where: Wortham Auditorium, Rosenberg Library, 2310 Sealy
No RSVP necessary

If you haven’t birded the Texas City Dike during winter, you’re missing out on a real treat! While it may not be obvious at first glance, the dike and levee include a wide variety of coastal habitats, making the area attractive to a diverse assortment of bird species. We’ll discuss each of the habitats and the types of birds that find them appealing, then take a closer look at some of the winter migrants that can be found on or near the dike.

Galveston County Audubon Group Birding Field Trip to the Texas City Dike


February 15, Saturday, 8:30am – noon, Free
Where: Meeting at the base of the Texas City Dike parking lot on left side near restrooms.
No RSVP necessary

Our local Galveston County Audubon Group welcomes Winter Texans and residents to participate in our monthly field trip.

It’s Time for a Makeover! Understanding Plumage Variations

Photo: Joe Blackburn

February 18, Tuesday, 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm, Free
Presenter: Kristine Rivers, Birding for Fun
Where: Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Campus, 4700 Broadway, (enter lobby and go left following the signs to OLLI)
RSVP Required: Phone 409.763.5604 or email olli@utmb.edu

In this interactive presentation, we’ll discuss the reasons for avian plumage variations; how molting can affect identification; and color changes of bills, lores, legs, and feet.  Bring your favorite field guide if you would like to practice your identification skills.

Monarch Butterflies: Each One Counts

February 19, Wednesday, 10:00am – noon, Free
Presenter: Cindy Price, Author & Naturalist
Where: Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Campus, 4700 Broadway, (enter lobby and go left following the signs to OLLI)
RSVP Required: Phone 409.763.5604 or email olli@utmb.edu

Attendees will enjoy Cindy’s presentation which includes the Monarchs’ natural history, North American conservation status, current migration map, and the importance of the “Texas Funnel” and the I-35 milkweed restoration project.  Cindy writes and films the nature photography for The Urban Naturalist series of books.  She also writes the nature column for Life is Good magazine.  Cindy is a long-time Texas resident. She received her Master Naturalist training from the Houston Arboretum.  She is also a Master Gardener and has been raising Monarch butterflies for 25 years.

Moody Gardens Conservation Series: Peru Penguin Field Work

February 19, Wednesday, 10:30am – noon, Free
Presenters:  Moody Gardens Staff
Where: Moody Gardens Aquarium Pompano Room
Click here to register

Peru is the world’s largest producer of guano with more than 21,000 tons harvested from the Chinchas each year.  Most of the high nutrient guano comes from Cormorants, Pelicans and Boobies, but a smaller colony of Humboldt Penguins in Punta San Juan also contribute to this Peruvian Government coordinated harvest.  Moody Gardens’ Biologists have participated in field surveys to monitor the activities of the guano harvesters to minimize impacts to the penguins, fur seals, sea lions, and myriad other birds using this habitat.  Population surveys are another important aspect to these periodic field projects as they only happen when the accumulation of guano is deemed sufficient to justify the harvest.

R/V MANTA, 11 Years of Service, Seaside Chat, NOAA Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary

February 19, Wednesday, 6:30pm – 7:30pm, Free
Presenter: Melissa Trede, Vessel Operations Coordinator, FGBNMS/NOAA Corps
Where: Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary offices 4700 Avenue U, Building 216, Galveston, TX 77551
For more details & info, go to https://flowergarden.noaa.gov/education/seasidechats.html 

Learn how this multi-faceted research vessel has made a difference in ocean exploration and research in the Gulf of Mexico.

Seaside Chats are informal presentations about ocean topics associated with Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary and the Gulf of Mexico. Presentations are free and last for one hour. Our speakers include sanctuary staff and guests from partner organizations. Anyone is welcome to attend, but presentation style is most suited to those in middle school and above. No need to RSVP, just drop in and enjoy.

East End Lagoon Nature Preserve Trail Walk


February 25, Tuesday, 2:00pm – 3:00pm, Free
Leader: GINTC Staff or Volunteer
Where: Directions to be emailed prior to the activity
SPACE LIMITED
Click here to register

Join GINTC staff/volunteers for a nature walk at the East End Lagoon Nature Preserve. As you explore the Preserve, you will learn about the unique habitats that encompass it and view a variety of birds that depend on the Preserve for food and shelter.

Moody Gardens Conservation Series: Rainforest Conservation Summary

February 26, Wednesday, 10:30am – noon, Free
Presenters:  Moody Gardens Staff
Where: Moody Gardens Aquarium Pompano Room
Click here to register

The Moody Gardens Rainforest was the original iconic pyramid structure and continues to showcase the dynamic tropical rainforest ecosystem in a scale that’s rarely possible outside the tropics.  The diversity of plants and animals found in tropical rainforest ecosystems relies on complex inter-species associations that are increasingly unbalanced with the activities of humans.  Field conservation projects around the world are devoted to discovering, monitoring, restoring, conserving and protecting species, communities and even entire habitats from irreparable change.  Come listen to Moody Gardens’ Biologists present how our work here in this 1-acre slice of tropical rainforest in Galveston is touching natural spaces around the globe through species-focused field conservation projects.

What’s New in the Blue?, Seaside Chat, NOAA Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary

February 26, Wednesday, 6:30pm – 7:30pm, Free
Presenter: G.P. Schmahl, Sanctuary Superintendent, FGBNMS
Where: Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary offices 4700 Avenue U, Building 216, Galveston, TX 77551
For more details & info, go to https://flowergarden.noaa.gov/education/seasidechats.html 

See what FGBNMS staff and associates have been doing in the Gulf of Mexico this past year in terms of research, monitoring, and expansion efforts.

Seaside Chats are informal presentations about ocean topics associated with Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary and the Gulf of Mexico. Presentations are free and last for one hour. Our speakers include sanctuary staff and guests from partner organizations. Anyone is welcome to attend, but presentation style is most suited to those in middle school and above. No need to RSVP, just drop in and enjoy.