Enter the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center and take a journey into the world of the native plants and animals of the Keys, both on land and underwater.
Hardwood Hammock Exhibit
The Center features over 6,000 square feet of interactive and dynamic exhibits including a mock-up of Aquarius, the world's only underwater ocean laboratory.
Colorful marine artwork depicting the deep sea, coral reef and mangrove shoreline decorates the outside wall of the Center and guides the visitor toward the main entrance.
The Living Reef Exhibit
Once inside, exhibits interpret the ecology of Keys' habitats-from the upland pinelands through the hardwood hammock and beach dune, down to the mangrove shoreline, where the visitor enters the sea to learn about the seagrass flats, hardbottom, coral reef and deep shelf communities. The Mote Marine Laboratory Living Reef exhibit includes a 2,500-gallon reef tank with living corals and tropical fish, a live Reef Cam and other displays that highlight the coral reef environment.
A walk through the Aquarius exhibit offers glimpses of the beautiful marine life at the reef and shows how scientists live beneath the seas during research expeditions.
"We expect visitors to come away with a better understanding of the Florida Keys ecosystem and the challenges we face in protecting this environment for future generations," commented CDR Dave Score, Superintendent of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.
An on-site gift shop features fun and unique items such as books, games, and DVDs/videos. Net proceeds from the sale of products are returned to the Center to support educational programs.