The incredible biodiversity of our coastal area will be the topic of the CCA of Skidaway’s June meeting and seminar to be held on Monday, June 11, at St. Peter’s Church beginning at 7:00 pm. The presenter will be Captain John “Crawfish” Crawford , Senior Naturalist, Marine Operations Supervisor at the Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant, Skidaway Island.
Capt. John will talk about the exciting biology of the live specimens he will bring to the event. Snakes, turtles, lizards, horseshoe crabs, and other marine life may be a part of the menagerie. His presentation will include lots of hands-on time with the “critters.”
Capt. John is a native of Savannah, Georgia, where he grew up out-of-doors more often than not. From early childhood he has combed the extensive local wild places for every kind of “creepy crawler” he could find to study, and he brought home an endless stream of specimens, to the delight of his very supportive family. His nickname “Crawfish” was acquired in the third grade, as a result of his avid interest in nature. A professional naturalist and teacher since age 14, he has made a serious and life-long study of the natural history of the southeastern wild islands, rivers, marshes, swamps and forests. Through a variety of field trips, lectures, and photography, Crawfish introduces all levels of students to the wonders of ecology and the natural world.
While serving in the US Navy, John fell in love with the Florida Keys and the Everglades, with their swamps, coral reefs and tropical forest. After his discharge in 1971, he remained living in the Keys for a number of years diving, sailing, doing research and teaching about tropical ecosystems. Tropical Florida still remains his second home range.
In 1973 John co-founded Savannah based Wilderness Southeast, Inc., one of the region’s oldest environmental outdoor schools. The school’s curriculum was taught during natural history focused, wilderness camping and boating expeditions that ranged from the Carolinas to South Florida and from the Caribbean to Central America. Wilderness Southeast, a non-profit, is still active today.
Since 1988 he has been the resident naturalist, a marine educator, and research vessel captain at The University of Georgia’s Marine Education Center and Aquarium on Skidaway Island. There he spends most days out in the field, teaching visiting students about the wonders of our subtropical ecosystems. Crawfish has an infectious and easily shared enthusiasm for the natural world. Through his broad knowledge of natural history, extensive field experiences, and observant eye, he gives students an appreciation and understanding of the unmatched beauty and natural wonders of our southeastern wild places.
He lives on the Isle of Hope with his wife Jeana and their daughter Lauren.
The CCA’s June raffle will offer participants a chance to win one of two $100.00 gift certificates to Bass Pro Shop.
CCA is a non-profit organization with chapters on the Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf Coasts. For more information about CCA of Skidaway contact Joe Tyson, 598-8765. For more information about CCA’s Georgia District, contact Tom Rood, 598-9753. For information about this month’s meeting and seminar, contact Dave Devore, 330-329-6457. Area residents are invited to attend the CCA of Skidaway meetings and seminars held on the second Monday of the month at St. Peter’s Church.