Dolphins, whales, a look at the iconic marine species

Jodie Frediani Special to the Eagle
Capt. Gene Flipse in water with whales, which will be the topic of his program at Rookery Bay on June 27.

Jodie Frediani Special to the Eagle Capt. Gene Flipse in water with whales, which will be the topic of his program at Rookery Bay on June 27.

Capt. Gene Flipse, president of Conscious Breath Adventures, presents "Into the Wild with Dolphins & Whales" June 27 at the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for a wine and cheese reception with the speaker. The cost is $8 for Friends of Rookery Bay members and $10 for nonmembers. Registration is suggested at rookerybay.org/upcoming-events. For more information, call (239) 417-6310, ext. 401.

Flipse will introduce guests to some of the most iconic marine species of our sub-tropical corner of the North Atlantic. Join him on a magical and visually stunning journey into their watery realm to learn how to meet them for yourself and the actions we can take to ensure these ocean sentinels are protected for years to come.

Flipse was born in Miami and grew up on the waters of Biscayne Bay, the Keys, the Ten Thousand Islands and the Bahamas. A United States Coast Guard licensed captain for 27 years, Flipse worked for more than 15 years captaining live-aboard dive boats operating between Florida, the Bahamas and the Dominican Republic.

During these years, he had his first interactions with wild dolphins and whales in their natural environment. Over the course of his career, he has had the honor to work with world-class explorers, researchers, environmentalists, conservationists, photographers and documentary and feature film makers, guiding them to experience the thrill of swimming with dolphins and whales themselves. His work has also taken him to California, Japan, Australia and Tonga.

The series continues on July 11 with Denise Boyd, research associate for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Marine Mammal Program, discussing "Helping Stranded Marine Mammals."

On July 25, Wayne Hasson, president of Oceans for Youth Foundation and co-founder of Aggressor Fleet, presents "Fascinating Humpback Whale Facts." The series concludes on Aug. 15 when Kati Therriault, a manatee research biologist for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, presents "Manatee Response,Recovery and Research."

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