Marco Island named "Top 100 places that can change your child's life"
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
MARCO ISLAND, Fla.- Marco Island is the only Florida destination featured in a newly released National Geographic book. The book was released this month and features Collier County as a "must see" travel destination because of a dolphin attraction on Marco Island.
Four in Your Corner's Julie Salomone is diving in and showing you more.
Kent Morse gives eco-tours in Marco Island on a boat named "Dolphin Explorer." The dolphins he studies often like to show off.
"We began 8 years ago during surveys in Marco Island. We have over 300 dolphins documented and we are starting to notice alot of differences in the population," said Morse.
Kent and his research team started the 10,000 Island Dolphin Project where the group studies these mammals and identifies them by their fin. Certain scratches and marks on the fin allow the team to tell each dolphin apart.
"Some of the older dolphins are now phasing out and every year about 5 to 7 calves are born," said Morse.
Back in October 2012, we told you how this team is reaching kids in the classroom. A team member in the back of the boat teaches students in the classroom using Skype.
"The education program is growing. A lot of new schools are now signed up in parts of New York, Pennsylvania, and Florida. We are working with elementary school kids on a well-developed curriculum."
All of this caught the eye of a National Geographic Traveler Editor who took a ride on the boat. In a book released in February, Marco Island is named one of the "Top 100 Places That Can Change Your Child's Life." The book features the Dolphin Project and explores the
world telling readers of "must see" destinations like the Grand Canyon.
"It's pretty remarkable. I'm pretty sure there's other remarkable eco-tours in Florida, but it's really neat to be singled out," said Morse.
Tourists visiting think it's pretty neat too. They say Marco Island is a great destination.
"I've been coming down here for more than 25 years," said Teri Popp, visiting from Minnesota.
The author of the book hopes kids learn to travel and then travel to learn.
As for Kent, he continues to look for ways to take learning to an all new height.
For more information visit: www.dolphin-explorer.com.