Kids in “Friends for Florida” presented $650 to Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA) to help take care of its rescued sea turtles. The group, made up of middle school students from Pasco and Hillsborough Counties, was started by friends who wanted to raise awareness about environmental issues. To raise the money, the kids held garage sales, lemonade stands, recycled aluminum cans and collected money outside of a local Wal-Mart.
The Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA), a Clearwater staple since the facilities opened in the 1980’s, has seen a recent expansion in their activities. In the past year, the aquarium has released nine rehabilitated sea turtles, experienced a 31% attendance growth, and the phenomenon of Winter the Dolphin has exposed the CMA (and beautiful Clearwater) to millions of children all over the country. However, according to the CMA website, “in spite of tremendous growth and a global presence, we also remain a ‘neighborhood’ aquarium.”