Boaters know the value of healthy oceans better than almost anyone. Whether your interest is fishing or cruising, no one wants to do it in unhealthy water. Get schooled and brush up on some basic marine education.
September is when schools get back in session, but it’s also a time along the Southeast Coast to learn more about marine education.
Florida Oceanographic Society
A nonprofit organization with the mission to inspire environmental stewardship of Florida’s coastal areas through education, research, and advocacy, the Florida Oceanographic Society offers educational programs to the public. Its 57-acre marine life nature center on Hutchinson Island in Stuart, Florida, between the Indian River and the Atlantic Ocean, conducts research and restoration programs for the improvement of the regional coastal ecosystems. Presentations educate the public on environmental issues, such as protecting coastal ecosystems and marine life.
Learn more: floridaocean.org
Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute
Founded in 1971 as a premier marine research facility in Fort Pierce, Florida, Harbor Branch is part of Florida Atlantic University. The mission of its team of scientists, engineers, students, staff, and volunteers is to use ocean science to help create a better world. Harbor Branch-FAU’s Ocean Discovery Visitors Center offers a variety of educational opportunities along with a lecture series that enables the community to learn about the marine environment and the important research conducted by the institute.
Learn more: fau.edu/hboi
Smithsonian Marine Station
As part of the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum, the Marine Station, also located in Fort Pierce, Florida, is a research facility focusing on the marine ecosystems unique to Florida’s offshore waters and the Indian River Lagoon. The facility’s programs study the biodiversity, life histories, and ecology of marine organisms in the lagoon and oceanic waters of Florida’s Treasure Coast. On the third Thursday of each month, the center opens its doors to the public to share its current research projects. The center also holds public lectures throughout the winter where scientists present their work.
Learn more: si.edu/research/smithsonian-marine-station
Mote Marine Laboratory at Florida Keys History & Discovery Center
Mote Marine Laboratory comprises scientists and explorers acting as stewards of the ocean. They are driven by research and education to create a better environment for generations to come. Their belief is: “The answers are in the ocean, and together we will find them.” The Mote Laboratory field station at the Florida Keys Discovery Center in Islamorada, Florida, provides a beautiful and educational view of the unique coral reef ecosystem of the Florida Keys and the challenges it faces.
The University of North Carolina, Institute of Marine Sciences: UNC-IMS operates a research facility in Morehead City, North Carolina. The Institute’s mission is to serve the
public by conducting cutting-edge research, training young scientists, and providing expertise to governmental agencies and industry. Each Thursday during the school year, a
notable marine scientist will present a lecture on their current research project.
By Bob Arrington, Southern Boating September 2019