• Purple, yellow, gold and orange sponges and soft corals wave against a turquioise sea.

    Biscayne

    National Park Florida

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    Glass-bottom, snorkel, diving and island boat tours, and rentals for canoes and other paddle-craft, are temporarily unavailable. The park is working to resolve the issue as soon as possible and regrets the inconvenience. Limited snack items are available.

Dive Into History - New Podcast Series from Biscayne National Park Highlights Shipwrecks

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Date: September 26, 2013
Contact: Matt Johnson, 786-335-3679

A new series of podcasts on the shipwrecks of Biscayne National Park's Maritime Heritage Trail has been released. The seven podcasts include an introduction to the Trail as a whole, and 5-6 minute episodes on each of the six wrecks on the Trail. The podcasts were produced by Thomas M. Strom, and were made possible by a grant from the National Park Foundation. All seven episodes, available in both English and Spanish, are available for immediate viewing and download from the park's website at http://www.nps.gov/bisc/photosmultimedia/multimedia.htm, and are also available as a subscription on iTunes U, Apple's education portal. All episodes are also fully captioned with associated transcripts, making them accessible to an even wider audience.

Although often thought of primarily as a natural paradise, Biscayne National Park's geography and biology joined forces to make the area a veritable "ship trap" starting in the 17th century. The six wrecks highlighted in the new podcast series have been mapped, documented, and buoyed for easy access and interpretation. Using the podcasts and flyers available from the park's Dante Fascell Visitor Center, divers and snorkelers can learn about South Florida's maritime heritage from park rangers who share the stories of these diverse wrecks.

"These six wrecks are not like many of the purpose-sunk vessels that make artificial reefs elsewhere in Florida." said Chuck Lawson, Biscayne National Park's Archaeologist. "These are examples of real shipwrecks that came to grief and have associated stories of human drama. These podcasts tell some of those stories, providing a great introduction for divers and non-divers alike."

By searching for "Biscayne National Park" on iTunes, teachers, educators, and self-directed learners can download or stream over 450 podcasts and video-podcasts from iTunesU. Teachers and students are using iTunes U content for learning, sharing, re-purposing, and creating new content to make learning come alive.

"Learning is no longer something that just happens in the classroom," said Marta Cruz Kelly, Program Manager for the National Park Service's Interpretation and Education Division. "Learning happens over a lifetime, in many different settings. Contributing stories and science content to iTunes U creates access for Americans to explore wherever and whenever, which cannot be a bad thing! The fact that Biscayne's efforts go the extra mile to be inclusive of both English and Spanish-speaking listeners is just icing on the cake."

For more details about the podcasts or the park, visit the park's website at www.nps.gov/bisc or contact park ranger Matt Johnson at 786-335-3679. For regular updates from the park, "like" us on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/BiscayneNPS , or follow us on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/BiscayneNPS.  

-NPS-

Did You Know?

Semaphore pricklypear cactus

In 2001, scientists taking a plant inventory in Biscayne National Park discovered a population of semaphore pricklypear cactus, one of the world's rarest plants. Previously known as only 9 plants in the lower Florida Keys, the new population numbered 570 plants...over 60 times the previous count.