Brevard Zoo Youth Environmental Summit

Teens participate in a previous Brevard Zoo Youth Environmental Summit, which educates participants on conservation subject matters.

BREVARD COUNTY — Most citizens are aware of the dangers pollution poses to nature, with plastic being one of the biggest threats to the environment.

To help teenagers understand this issue and to find ways to prevent it, the Brevard Zoo is hosting a day of fun and conservation with its eighth annual “Youth Environmental Summit” from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, July 27.

Registration is open for youth ages 12-18 for $15 per individual, and includes a pizza lunch and event bag. Registration will be open until July 25.

“It seems the biggest reason people aren’t involved is that they’re not sure where to start,” said Jen Katona, Zoo Teen and Jr. Keeper coordinator. “We want to give teens a starting point, find something they’re interested in, and hopefully take it from there and get them involved in some way.”

The Youth Environmental Summit will be a day filled with hands-on activity, speakers from environmental organizations and crafts.

The summit was put together in an effort led by the Brevard Zoo Teen program.

“We created some committees this year, so it’s giving the teens who are helping to plan it more ownership and more responsibility,” Ms. Katona said. “I do provide a bit of guidance, but as far as final decisions, who they want to invite to present, writing letters to presenters and asking for raffle prizes from our sponsors, they do all of that.”

Speakers include Caleb Jameson, Longboat Key Turtle Watch; Chelsea Goss, Florida Wildlife Hospital; Holden Harris, University of Florida; Jennifer Cotton, OCEARCH; Megan Stolen, Casie Farrell, Aliris Loperena, Hubbs-SeaWorld; and more.

Teens will get hands-on while learning about invasive plant species, oyster restoration, sea turtles and a variety of environmental matters throughout the day.

Teens looking to get involved with the Brevard Zoo throughout the year for volunteer hours can look out for an application to Zoo Teen in August.

For more information, visit www.brevardzoo.org.

Associate Managing Editor

I have been a Viera resident for 14 years and a writer my whole life. I love to travel when the opportunity presents itself, as well as try new things.

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