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We're Open, Tallahassee: Gulf Specimen Marine Lab hosts field trips, beach walks

Posted at 6:40 PM, Jun 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-04 18:40:21-04

PANACEA, Fla. (WTXL) — With the economic uncertainties from the coronavirus, we here at ABC 27 are shining a light on businesses that are doing their part to help out the community while keeping their business open.

Gulf Specimen Marine Lab is opening its doors for its first field trip on Friday.

Executive director Cypress Rudloe says the aquarium is still only allowing 25 percent capacity. They've stepped up their cleaning efforts and they're making sure everyone is social distancing.

Rudloe estimates they've lost about $170,000 in revenue, so far, during the coronavirus pandemic.

With many summer camps and their annual fundraiser, Sharks and Chablis, likely not happening, they're relying on other sources of revenue like Facebook live streams and visitors to keep the 55-year-old facility going.

"It's pretty much going to be tourism and we're in kind of a holding pattern of just try and work smart, work efficient and hope that we go back to normal in another 6 months," said Rudloe.

In addition to online fundraisers, the Gulf Specimen Marine Lab is beginning beach walks this month.

"It's a really interesting thing that I take a small group of people out to the beach at low tide, which is the best," said Debbi Clifford, a certified Florida Green guide. "One of my favorite beaches is Bald Point, and that's where there's all sorts of stuff on the beach, and things to talk about and critters, and it's different every time you go."

They will also be having a specialist coming in soon to do two special programs on snakes.

If you're a business supporting our community, we want to hear from you.

ABC 27 has made it easy to submit your own business.

This is not just Tallahassee. South Georgia small businesses, we want to hear from you too!

Click on the We're Open, Tallahassee tab at the top of the ABC 27 website. Then, tell us your story by filling out the section to the right.

It's our way of letting people know you are open for business, and how they can support you.

Tell us your story

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