What makes a Sea to Shore Alliance Expedition special?
Sea to Shore Alliance expeditions are a one of a kind eco-experience. Led by our founder and director Dr. James “Buddy” Powell, an S2S expedition provides a life-changing, unique introduction to our ground breaking work with manatees in the United States and Cuba. Future trips may include our work in Belize and Africa and other important manatee locations.
Who is Dr. James Powell?
Dr. James Powell, Pew Fellow in Marine Conservation, is an author, lecturer, professor and international expert on manatees. Known affectionately as “Buddy,” Dr. Powell founded Sea to Shore Alliance, a science driven nonprofit, to more effectively address coastal conservation. S2S scientists work to protect endangered marine animals; current research projects focus on the West Indian manatee, the North Atlantic right whale and five species of sea turtles.
Dr. Powell has stated that when the marine environmental is healthy for marine animals, it’s healthy for humans. We created these expeditions to provide a hands-on experience of how marine conservation is directly related to everyone’s well-being.
How did Buddy become interested in manatees?
Buddy grew up in Crystal River and became fascinated by the gentle creatures in the river at a young age. When Jacques Cousteau came to Crystal River to study manatees (he had never seen one), he was told to “find the high school kid who knows all the manatees in the river.” Buddy ended up taking a year off from high school to be Jacques Cousteau’s personal manatee guide.
Why are S2S Expeditions unique?
We realize there are other excellent eco-travel opportunities available. The “S2S difference” is the opportunity to spend time with and learn from international manatee expert Dr. Powell (who is usually out in the field) and to see first-hand the kind of research that is making a difference.
A trip with Dr. Powell is an up close and personal look at the latest findings in manatee marine conservation and what we’re learning about what they need to survive. The expedition will transform your interest in manatees and marine conservation into an informed passion.
The two expeditions offer very different experiences. See below from more information and check the itineraries for details. If you are interested in manatees and/or marine conservation, these trips are designed for you.
There are a lot of manatee trips in the Crystal River Wildlife Refuge. How is ours different?
Our trip to Crystal River is an introductory, deep dive into manatee conservation.
During the trip — which includes a stay at the famous Plantation Inn — you’ll learn about manatee biology, local conservation efforts in the area and visit a number of important manatee areas located in the river. You’ll also learn more about S2S while hearing stories about Buddy’s year with Dr. Cousteau over dinner at the Inn’s restaurant.
Once on the river, you’ll have the opportunity to swim with manatees as other guides offer, but you will get the “behind the scenes” look a the latest in S2S conservation work including tagging techniques, strategies and background information on the manatees we are currently tracking and monitoring. Dr. Powell has been involved with manatee conservation efforts in the area since the 1960’s and will provide a unique and extensive viewpoint on the history and local ecology of Crystal River.
Join us for an introductory, 24-hour deep dive into manatee conservation at Crystal River — and emerge with an understanding about why manatee conservation is important to their future survival — and ours.
What is special about the S2S Cuba Expedition?
Everything! This is the first time we have taken guests to Cuba and our Cuban colleagues are going all out for you!
During the week we spend in Cuba, you will enjoy both conservation and cultural activities. You’ll find out more about how S2S is supporting Cuban marine conservation efforts and scientists, the collaborative efforts between our two countries and how data gathered by the US-Cuban team has contributed to conservation initiatives in Cuba.
You’ll be accompanied by Cuban scientists Anmari Alvarez Aleman and Dr. Jorge Angulo-Valdes while gaining the opportunity to assist them with research, visit a variety of Cuba’s pristine nature preserves, and have ample opportunity to explore the unique Cuban culture.
Discover and experience for yourself what some people are calling the “Garden of Eden” because of Cuba’s pristine, unspoiled environment. The rest of the world is watching to see how Cuba protects their important natural resources. Join us to find out how S2S is supporting Cuba in shaping the future of marine conservation.
Are there other benefits to an S2S expedition?
Yes! We are launching our expedition tours to share our expertise and experience in marine wildlife and conservation. In return, we are seeking support for our mission. The cost of your trip covers all major travel expenses and meals, and in addition, provides vital resources for our marine conservation programs.
If you can’t take a trip this year, but would like to support our efforts to protect endangered marine animals and coastal conservation, click here.