Marine Science Station a gift chronicle editorial

THE ISSUE: Marine Science Station to mark 50th anniversary.

OUR OPINION: We’re hoping for 50 more.

You couldn’t ask for a better day for a birthday party.

From 9 a.m. to noon today, staff and students at the Marine Science Station will be celebrating the station’s 50th birthday with a brief ceremony, guided boat tours, aquarium tours and more.

The public is invited, and if you haven’t been, you should go see the pearl of an institute afforded to Citrus County students. The Marine Science Station is a tremendous asset with an excellent leader at the helm in Earnie Olsen, and the county should be proud of this unique institution and the role it plays in the local school system.

To put into perspective just how long the station has been educating kids about the natural treasures in their backyard, here are some of the events that transpired in the year the station opened:

Ronald Reagan became governor of California;

The Doors released their debut album;

The Green Bay Packers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs in the first Super Bowl; and

The U.S. Supreme Court, ruling in Loving v. Virginia, declared all state laws prohibiting interracial marriage to be unconstitutional.

The Apollo 11 moon landing was still two years away.

The world has gone through a series of sea changes in the years since the station’s inception, but while political and cultural tempests gusted by, the mission there has remained the same: to inform students about the world outside their own, to get them up close and personal with life outside the classroom. Anyone who has had the benefit of having such an experience as a child will know its incalculable value.

For those who haven’t, there’s no better time than today.

Parking is available at the Crystal River Preserve State Park at 3266 N. Sailboat Ave. For more information, call 352-228-6032 or visit mss.citrusschools.org.

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