Building New Bridges at UGAMI

Dear Friend,

We recently received a note from Dr. Benjamin Ehlers, Director of the Franklin Residential College at UGA, who said:

We had a great trip: Sapelo encompassed everything we are striving for at FRC, in terms of academic rigor, contributing to the community through service events, and building community among our residents.

We couldn’t agree more—Sapelo is a magical place, and the opportunities for researchers and students to work and learn about coastal ecosystems just keep coming. This past October we had researchers from Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, classes from both UGA’s Entomology and Geography depts., a class from Middle Georgia State Univ., and a volunteer group from the Georgia Conservancy–not to mention the annual fall monitoring effort of the Georgia Coastal Ecosystems Long Term Ecological Research Program—all during the same week! We continue to renovate the campus, with plans to add visitor offices to the library wing this coming year, and we are launching a new semester-long residential education program in January.

We’re writing now to ask you to join us so we can continue to provide exceptional opportunities for research and education. Your tax-deductible donation will be used for a host of programs and activities, ranging from supporting summer internships to renovating the turkey fountain to subsidizing housing costs for graduate students. This year we are also hoping to raise enough money to build new bridges over the alligator pond (which had to be closed when one of the pylons failed—luckily everyone was o.k.!).

Your contribution will make you a member of the “Friends of UGAMI”, a group that supports the Institute and helps with special projects such as restoration of the Teal Boardwalk. Donations can be made on-line, or via a check made out to “UGA Foundation”, with “Friends of UGAMI” in the byline, and sent to Friends of UGAMI, Marine Sciences Building, 325 Sanford Drive, Athens, GA 30602. We thank you for your consideration.

With deep appreciation,

Merryl Alber
Director, UGA Marine Institute

Beth Richardson
President, Friends of UGAMI

Roseate Spoonbill at the Alligator Pond; Photo by Cas Bradley

The water garden that sits behind the Marine Institute provides habitat for birds as well as fish, alligators and other wildlife, and is a popular destination for visitors.  A group of roseate spoonbills made the alligator pond their home for almost a month this past spring along with the usual snowy egrets. Unfortunately, the wooden pilings that support the two bridges that span the pond have decayed over the years and the walkway is now closed. We are hoping to raise money to replace them.