There is more to SPU’s Camp Casey Conference Center, located on Whidbey Island, than meets the immediate eye. Aside from the more apparent amenities, there is the Camp Casey Sea Lab, which contains a host of local marine life to behold, conservation at the heart of its message. The lab was built by Keith Ludeman, a retired Navy veteran who educates visitors on the sea life collected in the lab, which includes starfish, sea urchins, sea pickles, and more. These creatures are found in plenty in the Puget Sound waters off the shore of Whidbey Island, but all of them are deep-sea dwellers, and wouldn’t be viewable if not for the lab. This is very much a part of the lab’s goal-to show young students that the ocean is a habitat of importance for all of these creatures that we can’t see. The way that our actions as humans affect them and their habitat is also stressed.
An example used by Ludeman is a certain type of Rockfish that only breeds every 75-80 years, creating an existence that would be vulnerable if it weren’t for fishing regulations. In this way, the lab seems to act as a promotion of environmental coexistence, a great ideology to attain at an early age.