Scenes from St. Pete Sci Fest:
Science in the Sun – Sea Us Rise & USFSP

Sea Us Rise was a presenter and sponsor at USFSP’s Sci Fest 2024.

More than 1,000 students attended the first day of the Sci Fest: Science in the Sun’s Sneak Peek School Day on Friday, February 9th. It felt like every one of them, plus a few more, came to Sea Us Rise’s booth! On Saturday, February 10th, over 12,000 people came through the Fest, and we saw a huge chunk of them at the booth too.

Sea Us Rise’s founder, Michael Kingsford, showed kids how anthropogenic – human made – noise harms marine life, especially whales, dolphins, and other creatures by disrupting their communications. You can see in the video that Sea Us Rise had two theremins (amazing musical instruments that you DON’T touch to play) and a playlist of human made marine noises. Think motorboats, jet skis, huge shipping boat motors, explosions, sonar, and other loud and harmful sounds. You can see in the video how disturbing it must be to those living in the Gulf.

Poster of endangered and threatened Florida marine life, with a qr code to an article about how anthropogenic noise harms sea life.

Sea Us Rise also offered posters (teachers can still order a free poster for your classroom through the end of March through this link) that showed the threatened and endangered Florida marine life. There are 29 species in danger, and all of them are harmed by the noise we make. Coral babies can’t find their homes; turtles can’t identify predators; fish can be stunned or killed by very loud noises.

Kids wanted to know what we can do about this to protect marine animals from harm. (Insert virtual hug to the kid who asked the question about boats in the above video!) Kids can lobby their parents, teachers, and even elected leaders to do more to protect our oceans.

  • Electric boat motors are much quieter and less polluting than gasoline ones.
  • Legislation requiring shipping boats to stay away from whale migratory lanes is vital.
  • Stop underwater exploration for oil and gas – the seismic activity is terrible in many ways, and we are destroying the oceans to get fossil fuels that destroy the planet. Support organizations and officials that call for an end to these acts.
  • Support the creation of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).

Sustainability Sponsorship Too

That wasn’t all that Sea Us Rise did though. This year we sponsored the T-shirts, so they would be completely sustainably made (thanks to Northshore Printing, our partner in sustainability). It is important for organizations to walk the walk when it comes to the environment. Clothing can be very harmful to the climate at all stages – production, shipping, retail, wearing, and disposing. Let’s try to reduce the harm wherever we can.

 ‘In becoming the T-Shirt sponsor for The USF Science Fair, Sea Us Rise looks to make this wonderful event more sustainable, and also to educate our students and citizens on more sustainable clothing options,’  says Michael Kingsford. ‘Many people consider cotton T-shirts to be a sustainable clothing choice.  In fact, the vast percentage of cotton, or “dirty cotton” as I refer to it, is one of the most polluting crops on the planet.

It requires over 700 gallons of water to produce a single T-shirt, and that water gets contaminated with massive amounts of fertilizer, pesticides, and chemical defoliants (used in harvesting).

“Performance” T-Shirts are also an inexpensive and popular choice. Unless the polyester that those shirts are made from are from recycled sources, they’re not only a fossil fuel product, but also a significant source of the micro plastic pollution that has become a major problem in our oceans and even in the air we breath.’

It only costs a few dollars more per shirt, and is the difference between saying you care for the planet and actually caring for the planet. Please read this article about the easiest ways to be more sustainable with your clothing.

We were so happy to be once again be part of the University of South Florida St. Petersburg campus’s Sci Fest, and look forward to next year. Hope to see you there!

bullet points on how to make sure your clothes don't harm the planet with qr code



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