Stoically braving wintry temperatures to participate in the 17th Manasota Regional Envirothon on Thursday at Oscar Scherer State Park in Osprey were 150 students representing seven Manatee and Sarasota county high schools.
The Envirothon is an environmental team competition for high school students, testing their knowledge of aquatics, forestry, soils and wildlife.
In addition, each year there is a current topic. This year it was “Biodiversity in a Changing World.”
Participation increased by 40 percent from last year, with 12 additional teams in a tight contest.
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Manatee River Soil and Water Conservation District and Sarasota Soil and Water Conservation District sponsored the competition, providing T-shirts and awards. Division of Forestry prepared lunch, generously provided by the Manatee Sarasota Fish and Game Association.
Also involved were Manatee County (Agriculture and Resource Conservation Department and Natural Resources Department), Sarasota County Environmental Services-Water Planning and Regulatory, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Oscar Scherer State Park volunteers, and Sarasota County Extension Service.
Manatee County results
First place: The Craiginators from Southeast High School. Advisor Steven Craig with Philip DiMaria, Benjamin Robinson, Stephen Suchy, Thomas Young and Loic Van Horne
Second place: Fighting Seacows from Manatee High School. Advisor Pat Zalo with Kiley Gray, Sean Fahy, Mina Hanna, Ally Walstad and Chelsea Pillsbury
Third place: The Conservationists from Bayshore High School. Advisor Jennifer O’Connor with Jakob Centlivre, Laura Duran, Brianna Davis, Lilla Lukacs and Ashley McClellan
Sarasota County RESULTS
First place: Team 5 from Pine View High School. Advisor Spike Black with Dylan Vasconcelles, William Chen, Sheila Heiman, Marty Rauch and Hillary Ezcurra
Second place: Team 3 from Pine View High School. Advisor Spike Black with George Tapia, Jennifer Brenner, Madeline O’Hehir, Elizabeth Devitt and Llyswen Berna
Third place: Team 6 from Pine View High School. Advisor Spike Black with Ashlyn Wallace, Josh Levin, Taylor Schwimmer, Haylee Wilson and Paul Marrone
In all, Manatee County was represented by Bayshore High School with six teams; Central High School with one team; Manatee High School with three teams; Palmetto High School with four teams; and Southeast High School with six teams.
Sarasota County was represented by Booker High School with two teams; and Pine View High School with eight teams.
The first-place team from each county is eligible to compete in the State Envirothon to be held at Hillsborough River State Park.