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Teenage boat captain begins charter boat business in Wakulla County; why she's on a mission to educate

Posted at 9:04 PM, Mar 26, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-26 21:04:24-04
  • A young charter boat captain is on a mission to teach others about boating while preserving the environment.
  • The Wakulla Environmental Institute says educating the next generation is key to preserving the natural beauty of the area.
  • Watch the video above to hear from the teenage captain about her mission.


It's a Wakulla County success story. I’m Kenzie Krueger in the St. Marks neighborhood. I just met a young entrepreneur who is working to share her love of the outdoors with her neighbors.

“I just know it so well It’s my favorite place to be.” For Ava Mercer, things like fishing and driving a boat come natural. “That’s why I wanted to keep doing it for work and everything else.”

Mercer is an 18-year-old captain who started her own charter boat business in Wakulla County. She's one of a few younger captains in the neighborhood, and she's on a mission.

“I would love to help anybody that wants to get started but definitely younger people, because so many older people kind of push them out of the way.”

Setting up the next generation for success. It's an idea that could help the environment here in the long run.

"It instills in our young people are use some responsibility." Albert Wynn is with Wakulla Environmental Institute. While Mercer works to train future boaters, Wynn works to remind everyone of, "having that mindset of knowing I’m out on the water everyday and I see the beauty and I understand what that means for my family and economically that’s important we need more of that for our youth.”

He says he hopes hopes more young people will take on missions like Mercer's.

“I’m glad you’re talking to young people about the importance of being out on the water and starting their own business that’s hugely important that’s what our youth need,” said Wynn.

“It’s getting bad like I can tell even in my life the amount of people that are going on the water and in the woods and everything like that it’s not making it any better,” added Mercer.

So now she's working to set an example. “I definitely want support more people going out by doing it in a good way not polluting and everything else that’s going on.”

Mercer is going to school for business. She has plans to grow what she's doing even more.