Loews Don CeSar Hotel, the iconic seaside property in famed St. Pete Beach, FL has partnered with Tampa Bay Watch, the Pinellas Education Foundation, and students from St. Petersburg’s Campbell Park Elementary School, to create a series of permanent education stations, and sea life mural, designed to inform visitors about the area’s natural environment, its array of sea life and Tampa Bay’s feathered, finned and leafy neighbors!
The self-guided experience was created as a result of the many inquiries the hotel’s staff was receiving from guests about everything from sea turtle nesting and the importance of sea oats to the famous “Stingray Shuffle.” The hotel reached out to Tampa Bay Watch, which is dedicated to the protection and restoration of the Tampa Bay estuary through scientific and educational programs to help develop a solution – Sea Life Education Stations.
“Our beaches and the variety of sea life that makes St. Pete Beach, and its waters, home is the primary reason guests come to Loews Don CeSar,” stated Stephen Cummings, General Manager. “It’s our responsibility to maintain this natural environment and inform guests about these treasures and why they are so vital to our community. Who better to guide us in creating this experience than the experts at Tampa Bay Watch,” he continued.
“We are honored to work with Loews Don CeSar to expand environmental education efforts to families and friends who visit our amazing beaches.” stated Peter Clark, President of Tampa Bay Watch. “Visitors can see firsthand the incredible environmental resources that make our region so special and find out how they can help protect the natural treasures of Tampa Bay.”
Loews Don CeSar also partnered with the Pinellas Education Foundation and local mural artist Damir Tabakovic, for inspiration to create two large wall murals in their kids camp designed to get children excited and engaged about sea life. The murals are featured in the hotel’s Camp CeSar.
The Sea Life “Education Stations” include eight stops around the hotels pools, gardens and beachfront. Areas of focus include:
- Beach Birds – Florida beaches are home to millions of birds – migratory and permanent.
- Oyster Domes – Oyster Domes are placed around the bay to restore lost habitat and promote water health. Guests can see two real domes and how they work!
- Under the Sea – Discover some of Tampa Bay’s marine species, many of whom have grown up in our nutrient-rich waters of Tampa Bay before graduating to the Gulf of Mexico.
- Stingrays – The Gulf is home to several species of rays.
- Beach Plants – Guests learn to identify some of the most prevalent beach plant species on local beaches.
- Sea Turtles – Beaches are critical nesting sites for endangered sea turtles. Loggerhead turtles often make their nests right behind Loews Don CeSar. See a replica of a turtle nest, complete with hatchlings!
- Manatees – Learn about these gentle giants, affectionately called Sea Cows. Meet our own replica Ms. Maisie and her baby calf Maddie.
- Sea Life Wall Mural – Visit Camp CeSar and get a peek at artist Damir Tabakovic’s unique wall art, dedicated to our Beach Species and informational program. The mural was inspired by the 4th grade students at Campbell Part Elementary School.
The St. Pete Sea Life Informational Program is offered free to all visitors of Loews Don CeSar Hotel.
Loews Don CeSar Hotel is located at 3400 Gulf Boulevard, St. Pete Beach, FL 33706. For reservations and more information, visit www.loewshotels.com/doncesar or call 855-775-8397.
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Ms. Maisie & Baby Maddie Manatee
St. Pete Sea Life “Sea-Ribbon” cutting ceremony at Loews Don CeSar Hotel