Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Youth News: Swimming with Manatees

By ELIZABETH STUKER, Special Contributor | Published April 22, 2004

Our Lady of LaSalette Youth Group, led by Ed Reilly, went to Crystal River, Fla., on Jan. 17-19 and got “up close and personal” with exotic marine creatures. At the Marine Science Station, we joined up with Judge Frank Mills and his Boy Scout troop. The next day the group went to Mass at St. Benedict’s Church of Crystal River, a very beautiful, large church where we found everyone to be very friendly. After Mass, some of the group went canoeing on the 15-acre marsh where the Marine Science Station is located. Later that day, we snorkeled down Rainbow River, where we saw many different kinds of fish, turtles, sea grasses and birds, and that night attended an educational class about marine life. The next morning, we ate breakfast quickly. Even though it was chilly out, we pulled on our wetsuits, flippers and snorkeling masks and swam with the manatees. They were friendly and they liked to be scratched and rubbed. Some would even roll over so we could rub their bellies. I hope to go back soon!


Contributed by Elizabeth Stuker, a high school freshman and member of the Our Lady of LaSalette Parish Youth Group, Canton.