National marine sanctuary offices and visitor centers closed to the public; waters remain open

NOAA's national marine sanctuary offices and visitor centers are currently closed to the public, and in accordance with Executive Order 13991 - Protecting the Federal Workforce and Requiring Mask Wearing, all individuals in NOAA-managed areas are required to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance on mask-wearing and maintaining social distances. Sanctuary waters remain open for responsible use in accordance with CDC guidance, U.S. Coast Guard requirements, and local regulations. More information on the response from NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries can be found on

Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center

Entry to the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center

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. Leave with an increased awareness and appreciation of the need to protect and conserve the ecosystem of South Florida.

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, guiding you toward the main entrance.

Once inside, you can explore exhibits interpreting the ecology of Keys' habitats, from the upland pinelands through the hardwood hammock and beach dune. From there, you’ll travel down to the mangrove shoreline, where you can enter the sea to learn about the seagrass flats, hardbottom, coral reef, and deep-shelf communities. Stop in to the Center’s theater to catch “Reflections of the Florida Keys,” a short film on the diverse ecosystem of the Florida Keys by renowned filmmaker Bob Talbot.

Be sure to check out the Mote Marine Laboratory Living Reef exhibit, which includes a 2,500-gallon reef tank with living corals and tropical fish 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 sea during research expeditions.

And before you head out, stop by the gift shop featuring fun and unique items such as books, games, and videos. A portion of the net proceeds is returned to the Center to support educational programs.

The Center is sponsored and operated by Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, NOAA, the South Florida Water Management District, Everglades and Dry Tortugas National Parks, and the National Wildlife Refuges of the Florida Keys.

Admission to the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center is free. Contact the Center at 305-809-4750 or

main hall in the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center

Plan a Visit
Find information, including hours and location, needed to help you plan a visit to the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center. More

adult working with children at the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center

Discovery Saturday
The Eco-Discover Center hosts Discovery Saturday for children in kindergarten through fifth grade on the third Saturday of each month. Space is limited. Call 305-809-4750 to register. More

Volunteering at the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center

Volunteer at the Florida Keys Eco-Discover Center
Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center volunteers play an important role in educating visitors about the displays and Keys ecosystems. More

solar panels on the roof of the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center

Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Goes Solar
In 2010, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary unveiled a new exhibit dedicated to climate change and renewable energy. More