Saltwater aquarium offers TROY students a look at living reef

Posted: Thursday, 30 October 2008

TROY – Students at Troy University are getting to see a living reef up close and personal thanks to a demonstration project sponsored jointly with the Wiregrass Research, Conservation and Development Council, the University and Aquarium Fantasies.

The Positive Water Management Practices Display and Aquatic Ecosystem Demonstration is located in the first floor atrium of the Math and Science Complex in McCall Hall on the Troy Campus, according to Janet Gaston, the instructor in the Department of Biological Science who spearheaded the effort.

In addition to the 180-gallon aquarium containing a saltwater reef and marine life, two wall-mounted bulletin board displays provide information on non-point source pollution, pollutants that can create public health hazards, factors that influence non-point source pollution, how watersheds work, services ecosystems provide to the environment and vegetation found along south Alabama rivers.

“This project serves as a focal point of interest that has led to community awareness of our watersheds and the positive conservation practices that will lead to the protection of our natural resources,” Gaston said. “The aquarium display demonstrates a balanced ecosystem and an awareness of the endangerment of our terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.”

Aquarium Fantasies

State Representative Alan Boothe and State Senator Wendell Mitchell present a $4,000 check to Troy University biological sciences instructor Janet Gaston on behalf of the Wiregrass Resources, Conservation and Development Council to help fund a living reef demonstration at Troy University. Participating in the dedication ceremonies are (left to right) College of Arts and Sciences Dean Bill Richardson, Dr. Ed Roach, executive vice chancellor and provost, State Rep. Alan Boothe, State Sen. Wendell Mitchell, biological sciences instructor Janet Gaston, and Wiregrass RC&D council members Roy Kendrick and Herb Huner and Randy Martin, director of Wiregrass RC&D. (TROY photo/Cass Davis)