They're surrounded by water, and yet many Guam residents fear it.
Assistant Instructor of University of Guam Sea Grant Marie Auyong hopes to change that by creating opportunities where people can experience the water in a supportive, comfortable environment.
On Saturday, June 24 at the Dededo Pool, she will lead a Snorkel Intro class meant to teach very basic water safety and orient people to snorkeling.
University of Guam's Sea Grant program will provide all gear for $5, cash only. The Snorkel Intro starts at 10:30 a.m. and goes until noon, but participants can stay at the pool until closing time. Due to gear size limits, participants should be 12 or older.
"Snorkeling can be an easy way to enjoy Guam's underwater life, but folks won't try it because they get uncomfortable with ill-fitting gear or freak out about deep water. Several adults I know are also a little traumatized from beach experiences in their youth, where maybe things didn't go exactly to plan," Auyong said.
Participants will start by standing in waist or chest-deep water while learning how to fit and defog their masks, get comfortable breathing underwater and practice efficient kicking with fins.
"We're not looking to develop the next Michael Phelps," says Auyong. "We want to create a place for success and hope that people are encouraged to keep getting in the pool, and eventually, the ocean!"
For more information about marine-related education activities, contact Marie Auyong at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 685-4355.
The National Sea Grant College Program is a partnership between universities and the Federal Government’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce. The Sea Grant network includes more than 3,000 scientists, engineers, public outreach experts, educators and students. UOG Sea Grant brings the science of coastal resources to Guam’s people as one of 33 programs across the nation. See http://www.cnas-re.uog.edu/ for more information.