Just one visit to Stuart, Florida will surely leave a lasting impression as it did for me. The plant and animal life in all of Florida is simply breathtaking.
Stuart, Florida, especially, is on a mission to protect the beautiful ecosystem of the Treasure Coast.
The Florida Oceanographic Society which runs the Coastal Center is a nonprofit organization on the job.
Their mission is to:
…inspire environmental stewardship of Florida’s coastal ecosystems through education, research, and advocacy.
What To Do At The Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center?
Under The Sea Fun While Staying Dry On Land
An educational tour is an excellent option when visit the Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center in Stuart, Florida.
Tours are 90-minutes long and give you a great overview of the center, the things you can do and the ways they are protecting the ocean.
Additionally, you could also join in on one of their guided beach walks or a guided nighttime sea turtle walk.
Of course, if you prefer you can visit the center without taking a tour and enjoy the grounds and sea life at your leisure.
You absolutely DO NOT want to miss out on feeding the sting rays or touching the sea stars.
Also, be sure to walk around the 750,000 gallon Game Fish Lagoon. I loved watching the sharks and the sea turtles. (NOTE–the sea turtles are rescues who are not able to return to the wild.)
There is a variety of fish, stingrays, sharks, and sea turtles that call the Lagoon home.
Try to attend the feedings because they are pretty cool to watch.
There are also hiking trails. One takes you out to the ocean and if you have the time it’s worth the walk.
Virtual & In-Person School Field Trips
Florida has some pretty tough standards when it comes to excellence.
The Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center never rests in going above and beyond. Each year, they educate thousands of students on understanding and conserving the natural world.
They use a wide variety of avenues for educating the Florida community as well as the rest of the world. Both in-person and virtual field trips are available.
There are also outreach programs, lecture series, and summer camps.
The 2021 lecture series is going virtual which makes it that much easier to take advantage of this education. All science and nature lovers are sure to enjoy the lectures.
You can also find their past lectures online.
Teachers can invite a staff member to come to their classroom for a special outreach program. This is such a treat for the students as they interactively learn about Florida’s incredible marine species.
Field trips to the Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center are another great educational opportunity.
You can’t take excellent care of the diverse and sometimes rare flora and fauna without understanding it. That is why the Florida Oceanographic Society is determined to learn through research.
And you can contribute to their efforts!
Volunteers to be involved in things like:
● Conducting weekly water quality tests
● Monitoring seagrass beds once a month
● Seagrass restoration monitoring
● Constructing reefs with recycled oyster shells
Advocating for the preservation of Florida’s beautiful coastal marine life is no easy feat. In fact, it’s a fight! And the Florida Oceanographic Society is on the front lines.
They take the needs of the ecosystem and the desires of the community to elected officials both locally and nationally.
Through meetings, marches, and community events, the Society brings awareness and shares inspiration.
More Ways To Be Involved
If you are only stopping in for a short visit as I had the privilege of doing, you can still support the effort and know you’re making a significant impact.
Simply purchasing a pass to the Coastal Center for the day and soaking up the fascinating information goes a long way in keeping these efforts thriving.
You can also “adopt” one of the animals. And be sure to visit the gift shop for souvenirs, books, toys, and more.
Pin to Pinterest