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Biscayne, FL


Site Leaders

Megan Calesi

Deanna Wilbourn

Type of Service


Site Partner(s)

Biscayne National Park Service



Departure Date


Return Date






Site Leader Description #1

Hiya, I am Megan and I am a third year Kinesiology and Psychology major from Suffolk, VA. I grew up surrounded by water, which led me to attending the Florida Keys ASB trip last year. I had so much fun learning about turtle nesting sites, being in the water everyday, and participating in a one of a kind service clean up opportunity that I couldn’t resist leading the trip back to FL this year. You have probably seen me around grounds at some point where I work for North Grounds Recreation, UVA Health, and for Housing as a senior resident. Among other things, I enjoy baking, trying my best to be a runner, testing out new recipes–and more importantly tasting food around c’ville.

Site Leader Description #2

Coming soon.


Trip Logistics

We will start our trip bright and early Saturday morning where we will begin our drive to Naranja, FL. We will split up the trek with good food, even better road trip songs, and an overnight stay in an Airbnb in Jacksonville, FL Saturday night. Sunday morning we will complete our drive to Naranja, FL where we will be staying in an Airbnb for the remainder of the week. Sunday we will explore Florida, grocery shop for the week, and prepare for our service! Our service will be from early morning to early afternoon Monday-Friday. This leaves plenty of time for us to explore Miami, the Everglades, take on snorkeling and many other attractions around Biscayne in the afternoon. We will finish up service Friday and head back to our Airbnb in Jacksonville, FL. Saturday morning we will leave from Jacksonville, FL back to Charlottesville, leaving plenty of time to get settled for the week.

Participant Requirements

There are no specific requirements or skills for this trip but we expect our participants to
have a positive attitude, passion for service, and willingness to try new things! Participants should be prepared to wake up early, wade in waist deep water while walking over sharp rocks/muddy sediment, and work in sunny, buggy conditions.

Service Activities

We will be spending most of our service time volunteering with the Biscayne National Park which oversees turtle nesting sites along the Keys. We will be working in multiple locations throughout the week along the Keys. Each morning we will travel by park boats across the bay to a beach on the oceanside of Elliot Key or Sands Key to conduct a cleanup on a sea turtle nesting beach. There will also be opportunities for service on the mainland or bayside.

Recreational Activities

After service is complete for the day, we are planning on doing several planned activities and lots of other sightseeing and exploring! We plan to hike through the Everglades, visit a local berry farm with lots of activities, take a trip underwater snorkeling, and venture out to Miami. There will be lots of opportunities to explore Florida but we also hope to spend time with each other playing games and cooking!

Community/Area Background

Spanning nearly 173,000 acres, 95% of which is in Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, Biscayne National Park is the largest marine sanctuary in the U.S. National Parks system. The area is home to aquamarine waters, a wide variety of wildlife and unparalleled aquatic adventure possibilities. Accumulating debris on beaches can hinder successful nesting by threatened and endangered sea turtles and cause entanglement hazards to many other animals.

Similar to many other ecosystems in Florida, Biscayne Bay has undergone a significant change over time due to dredging and filling activities, construction of major drainage canals, land development, reduction of natural mangrove shorelines, tourism and commerce. Evidence of 10,000 years of human history is here; from prehistoric tribes to shipwrecks, and pineapple farmers to presidents.

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