Background: The pool was originally constructed in the 40's for the folks who lived on the island while working for the toll authority. It was quickly transformed into an outdoor aquarium filled with fish. During World War II the Navy and Coast Guard used the pool as a boat basin after blasting out the corner as well as the seafloor near the access point to gain entry.
It sat unused for years until the Foundation designed an aluminum structure to make the repair completing the top of the pool. A stainless screen was installed on the outside to allow for sea water to flow in and out with the tides. A trex decking was installed on the top to create the walking platform. This enclosed the pool and allowed the Foundation to once again stock the pool with animals. They teamed up with the Florida Keys Community College and are in the preliminary stages of shark research on Bonnethead sharks.
The research would prevent shark by catch on long line fishing boats targeting sail and swordfish. It was also stocked with tarpon, bonefish, snapper, grouper, and other shark species. The students get to feed the sharks and others species during shark anatomy and bilogy lab. They learn of many things about sharks. They dissect a shark (1 shark used multiple times to prevent unnecessarily taking more sharks from the wild) and get a chance to see the sharks feeding in the pool. The Foundation’s most popular program on island is the shark program because of the shark pool.
Your donation will directly help fund the reconstruction of the shark tank gate and walking platform. Our goal is to raise the funds to complete the work in time for the kids Summer camp starting in June.
On behalf of the Florida Engineering Leadership Institute Class of 2018, thank you.
- Luis Olivares
- Jorge Chaves
- Nathalie Theard
- Katie Duty
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