Even though the IRL is an everyday sight for many of us, few have ever experienced the unsurpassed biological diversity that lies below these waters. The Smithsonian Marine Ecosystems Exhibit, located inside the St. Lucie County Marine Center, provides a window into this underwater world. Make no mistake, we are not a typical public aquarium. Our focus is on displaying ecosystems as complex communities of organisms interacting in their environment. At the Marine Ecosystems Exhibit, visitors can explore six different Florida marine habitats and learn about the complexity and importance of marine ecosystems. With the help of our dynamic displays we strive to provide the public with a better understanding of the fragile marine ecosystems of the IRL and surrounding area and the impact humans are having on these fragile environments.
For over four decades the shared vision of founder J. Seward Johnson, Sr. and inventor Edwin Link to explore, protect and wisely use the oceans� resources shaped the work at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute. Today, articulated as Ocean Science for a Better World�, this same vision drives over 140 Harbor Branch Oceanographic scientists, engineers and support staff to be leaders in ocean-related innovation, exploration, research, education and conservation.
The Manatee Observation and Education Center is a waterfront wildlife observation and nature education center located on Florida's east coast in downtown Fort Pierce. The endangered Florida manatee, also called sea cow, is the main attraction. Manatees can be viewed at the Center year-round! Stand along the covered observation walkway or climb the second story observation tower to see Florida's "Gentle Giants" resting or playing in Moore's Creek. These are wild, not captive manatees, so one never knows when they might swim by.
A primary mission is to preserve the 1910 homestead of Laura (Riding) Jackson both as an example of environmentally sensitive FLorida architecture and as a valued emblem of her significant contributions made in a life devoted to language and literature. The historic house is open for tours on Saturday from 9-12, from October to May.