About Us

Emerald & Forgotten Coast Adventures will bring memorable historic and ecological experiences to area residents, students, and visitors through hands-on activities and tours.  Our mission is to provide the opportunity to couple memorable experiences with education to empower the next generation of our planet’s stewards.  We will accomplish this with interactive activities designed to introduce, ignite curiosity, and develop an appreciation, and hopefully, a passion to preserve and protect our history and environment.

Our Team

Jon Schmidt

Jon has had a passion for marine science since he could walk and explore the beaches of Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  Becoming SCUBA certified at the age of 13 helped him expand his exploration of the marine environment.  Jon went on to earn his doctorate in marine ecology from Florida State University, and now 36 years later after conducting marine studies around the world, Jon is bringing his passion to explore, study, and develop a passion for marine science in the next generation.  He learned as a child that experiencing the environment firsthand is the only way to reinforce classroom education.  This hands-on experience can lead to a lifetime pursuit and passion for the marine environment.

Denise Schmidt

Denise grew up in the Emerald and Forgotten coast, graduating from Bay High School in Panama City and spending summers and visits to her family in Suwannee, Old Town, and Cross City.  Jon and Denise met in Tallahassee and raised two sons there while spending their vacations visiting and exploring the Emerald and Forgotten Coasts.  Denise’s family has been ingrained in the local history and she has a passion to see young people learn and explore these coastal communities to learn how earlier generations lived and took care of the marine environment.  Denise has developed all the merchandise for sale to support the non-profit and will lead the historic tours requested by visitors to the area.

Our mission

Provide the opportunity to couple memorable experiences with education to empower the next generation of our planet’s stewards.

Purpose: Provide the opportunity to couple memorable experiences with education to empower the next generation of our planet’s stewards.

Vision:  Our vision is to reach people throughout the panhandle and southeastern US to learn about the history and ecology of this area so that the next generation become better stewards and active conservationists and preservationists.

Values:  We will base our experience building activities on the facts of the area and not myth or rumor.  This will require extensive research and consultation with area historians and ecologists to build the memorable experiences on truthful education.  We will also be a respector of all views as supported by fact and research.

Vision Statement: To facilitate the preservation of the unique qualities and history of the Emerald and Forgotten Coasts through memorable educational field trips for locals and visitor alike.

Company Philosophy:  Build a passion in everyone who comes to us by being passionate about what we teach people.

What we do

We bridge the gap between learned knowledge and applied experience to help spur a passion in marine conservation and historic preservation. Sparking a desire for learning is charged by memorable experiences brought by passionate educators. We will provide hands on opportunities to learn about the history and marine ecology of the Florida pandhandle in a way that creates memorable and life changing experiences.

How do we do this?  Taking students and visitors into the field we will provide them with the opportunity to see, feel, touch, and experience the uniqueness of the local history and marine ecology of the Florida pandhandle and Gulf of Mexico.  This will be accomplished by connecting the classroom lessons with the hands on sampling and exploration in the marine environment and ours of the historic towns and villages in the pandhandle.

Why do we do this?  Teaching in the classroom, or in a lecture in a condomium complex for visitors and part-timers provides some basic knowledge.  By coupling a memorable hands on experience with that teaching we hope to ignite a passion for the conservation and preservation of what makes the Florida panhandle unique and worthy of protection.  As the level of tourism increases, the pressures to change the uniqueness of this area increases and will result in commercializing the area in a manner similar to other heavily traveled areas in Florida and the US.  Commercial tourism, not balanced with the protection of the ecology and history of an area will wipe out the unique value and attractiveness of an area.

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