FC: Alternative Break 2012 | Gulf Coast Restoration
1: Camp Timpoochee | Every year the UAF LIVE program takes a group of students on a week-long volunteer trip. This year we went to Destin, Florida to work on a Gulf Coast Restoration Project with Community Collaborations.
2: Our Cabins | We were on the beach. | We stayed at a 4-H Camp on the shores of the Chatawahatchee Bay.
3: Don't forget to bring your sleeping bag... | We weren't afraid of the "cold" water. | As Alaskans we were not used to staying on the beach.
4: Our first day of service Let's build a park.
5: There were lots of invasive plants, but they were no match to our land clearing.
6: Day 2 of Service Bagging Oysters | Did you know a single oyster filters 40 gallons of water a day? This makes oysters an incredibly important asset to the health of the coast. Working with local organizations we helped build oyster reefs by using recycled and fossilized oysters. Baby oysters, that are not shell bound, attach to these older and fossilized oysters to form new colonies that will help ensure the health of the fragile Gulf Coast Ecosystem.
7: Bagging the oysters helps ensure the stability of the reef. It takes a lot of oysters to clean the bay. | We demolished this pile. | Building Oyster Reefs
9: Now that we had done all the bagging, we were ready to build a reef. Reefs are built at all different depths. Reefs close to shore can help with effects of erosion.
11: We did manage to have some free time to enjoy the beach. Hey, we were in Florida after all and for some of us, it was our first beach experience.
12: American Red Cross: Disaster Relief Services One of the coolest things that we got to do on our trip was attend a Red Cross training on disaster management. We never realized how much is involved in running an emergency shelter or the extent of aide the Red Cross provides in every state in our nation. UAF now has twelve community members that are fully certified to be Shelter Managers for an emergency shelter. Not only does this help give back to our own Fairbanks and Alaska communities but provides us with an opportunity to volunteer with the Red Cross all around the country and the world.
13: One of the things we learned about running a shelter was one of the most important duties is to make sure everyone is fed. Although we weren't staying at an emergency shelter our site hosts were responsible for feeding volunteers from five different universities, totaling upwards of sixty volunteers. It took a lot of food to keep everyone fed. | Here are some pictures from one of the food shopping trip.
14: On our last day of service we had the opportunity to work with local Head Starts in the community. It was incredibly rewarding to work with kids from diverse backgrounds.
15: Out of respect for the children and their families we are unfortunately not able to have more pictures of these cuties. We promise they were adorable. | Some of us may have even channeled our own inner child.
16: After a fun filled week it was time to pack up and head out. We liked Florida a lot, but Alaska is our home. | Farewell beautiful campsite.
17: We loaded up our cars and headed out. To keep costs low for the trip, we had to fly through New Orleans, which is a five hour drive from Destin. It sure was an adventure.
18: We were starved after that long drive and were ready for some New Orleans' cookin.
19: Some of us ate more than others.
20: It was a long trip back, but we're tough Alaskans and were happy to rough it after such a great week.
22: The trip was great, but it was time to get back to our lives in Fairbanks and our UAF community. Thank you to all of the wonderful people that made this trip possible and thank you to the phenomenal Alternative Break Team that made a volunteer trip feel like a world-class vacation.