Welcome Our New Marine Biologist
Ladies and Gentlemen, meet our newest team member, Danielle D’Amato! Danielle grew up in Woodstock NY. At the age of 17 she joined to NAVY to see the world….or so she thought. She spent a little over 5 years land locked at Tinker AFB Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and another 3 years at NAS Key West where she met her wonderful husband and decided it was time for a new career path. The military brought them to Jacksonville were she pursued a B.S. in Biology with a minor in education, and a M.S. in Marine Science. Danielle conducted her research for her masters on Cumberland Island, on North America’s only brackish species of turtle, the Diamondback terrapin. Making her an expert on braving the marsh mud, and all of the trials associated with the marsh. Danielle’s research hasn’t been restricted to marine life; she has worked with primates, insects, reptiles, amphibians and mammals. She often rehabilitates wildlife in her home, you never know what animal she will be caring for, currently she is caring for 3 orphaned raccoons.
Amelia Island has no shortage of picturesque, neighboring land masses. To the south, Big Talbot, Little Talbot, and Fort George encompassed by the Timucuan Ecological Preserve. To the north, you’ll find Cumberland Island National Seashore and Fort Clinch State Park which makes up about ten percent of Amelia Island. Just to the west are the Tiger Islands and Tiger Basin, most of which are part of the Fort Clinch Aquatic Preserve. It is in this setting that Amelia River Cruises will offer our Shrimping Eco Tour. While our main focus is on showcasing the beauty of Amelia and its surrounding sights, we try to allocate as much time as possible to education focused on the ecology of Northeast Florida.
We offer guests the opportunity on our Shrimping Eco-tour to engage in learning about the areas ecosystems. When you book an eco-tour, you will get to experience the “ropes” of the booming shrimp industry as well as learn quite a bit about what is pulled up in the net. Danielle D’amato is our resident marine biologist who conducts the eco-tour lectures. Once out on the water, an Otter Trawl net will be deployed. This particular net revolutionized the shrimping industry, and was also invented right here on Amelia. When the net is brought back aboard, the contents will be placed in aquariums and explained in detail by Danielle. As the lecture is winding down on each trip, the Captain will continue to explore and tour the backwaters and tidal creeks before returning to historic Fernandina Beach. These backwaters and tidal creeks that make up this estuary are also part of the St. Mary’s River Basin connecting Tiger Basin with the Okefenokee Swamp.
The oyster beds, mud flats, and thousands of acres of marsh grass in Tiger Basin are a critical part of our local environment. Salt marshes are the most productive Eco systems on earth, providing a nursery for all of the sea creatures that are native to our waters and providing a rich source of food for others. There’s all sorts of reasons why taking the time to embark on an eco-tour is a good idea for you and your family. In a time where the consequences of general pollution and planetary neglect are coming to a head, it’s now more important than ever that we get educated and active about reversing the bad habits that have contributed to the degradation of the environment.
Join an Eco Shrimping Tour with Danielle!
Eco Shrimping Tours resume June 9 and depart Thursday through Saturday at 10am. (more…)