Saba Island Announces Annual “Sea & Learn” Program in October

The Dutch Caribbean island of Saba has announced that its 19th annual edition of “Sea & Learn” will be held throughout October 2022. Each year the event is organized with the sole purpose of helping others understand the fragility of the environment and the importance of its protection. Here are a few highlights of this year’s event, which includes a lineup of hands-on field excursions, activities, lectures and discussions.

Deep sea exploration is a strong emphasis for 2022 as it is the focus of two of the 14 participating scientists, Vince Capone and Chancey MacDonald. Capone led a team that searched for shipwrecks using robotic and sonar equipment to map the entire offshore area surrounding Saba to a depth of 656 feet. Both will give presentations and lead field projects. Visitors can literally take a deep dive with MacDonald to discover how depth affects the presence and abundance of fish (October 4), while Capone will demonstrate how he uses sonar to map the seafloor (October 12).

Dr. Erinn Muller
Dr. Erinn Muller (Saba Tourism)

Dr. Erinn Muller, a senior scientist at Florida’s Mote Marine Laboratory managing both the “Coral Health & Disease” and “Coral Restoration” programs, develops therapies to treat several different types of coral diseases. Muller will lead two field dives (October 16 & 20) to first identify and then treat coral disease found in the waters around the island (October 19). Visitors can immerse themselves in an intensive lesson in coral health and restoration.

The land-based offerings on the island this year include two night hikes.

Scientist Lydia Mäthger has studied various aspects of animal sensory ecology. Her focus is on animal vision, from the shape and size to the complexity of color vision. Her night hike will focus on how animal eyes influence technology (October 26). Dr. Lauren Esposito, an arachnologist, will lead one of her popular night hikes in search of scorpions, spiders and more. (October 20).

During “Sea & Learn,” guests are invited to enjoy large-screen presentations led by the visiting experts, offered every other night throughout the month during “Happy Hour” at one of Saba’s local bars and restaurants. All activities and night-time presentations are free and open to the public.

Visiting experts also teach the local children the value of Saba’s natural beauty and resources and their importance to the region. The entire program is made possible with community support and Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds Caribisch Gebied whose mission is to support cultural and nature preservation projects in the Netherlands and Dutch Caribbean.

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