Posted On: March 24, 2020

Volusia County is going virtual to help families with children from tots to teens battle boredom and pass the time at home with some fun and interactive learning activities.

On Monday afternoon, the Marine Science Center kicked off a daily live stream of educational programs about local wildlife. Monday’s program featured the release of three injured sea turtles that the Marine Science Center had spent months nursing back to health. The release was broadcast live on the Volusia County Community Information Facebook page – the first of daily live events that the center has scheduled since its temporary closing last week to help combat the coronavirus outbreak. The broadcasts will take place at 1 p.m.

During Monday’s broadcast, the sea turtles – named Elphaba, Halley and Kocoum by the center’s staff – were carried out into a few feet of water in Ponce Inlet by the Marine Science team and then gently lowered into the ocean, where they instantly swam off to start their new lives.

“How amazing was that, guys,” Shell Webster, head of education programs for the Marine Science Center, said moments after the release. “What a great way to start our totally awesome live broadcast feeds from the Marine Science Center education.”

The live event was both fun and captivating. But Webster made sure it was educational and interactive too. For instance, during the broadcast, Webster mentioned that Halley’s name was inspired by a space theme. Then she asked the viewers whether Halley was a star, a planet or a comet. Several viewers typed the correct answer – comet – during the live event. She also said that when rescued, one of the sea turtles was covered in barnacles and was acting lethargic – a big word for younger viewers that means tired, Webster explained to the audience.

Judging by the views and comments, the broadcast was a big hit – watched live by more than 4,000 people, including some viewers from as far away as Texas, Kentucky and even Scotland. And the broadcast generated loads of complimentary and appreciative comments.

“That made my Monday!” commented one viewer. Another posted: “Thanks for going live so we can watch.” And yet another viewer commented: “Kids loved watching it.”

Volusia County Library Services and the Lyonia Environmental Center also are planning live Facebook events. Links to their Facebook pages are as follows:

Volusia County Community Information:

Volusia County Library Services:

Lyonia Environmental Center: