Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce

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Florida with star for Ft. Pierce

(not open to the public)
701 Seaway Drive
Fort Pierce, FL 34949
Tel: 772-462-6220
Fax: 772-461-8154

420 Seaway Drive
Fort Pierce, FL 34949
Tel: 772-462-FISH





Homepage slideshow Who We Are...

The Smithsonian Marine Station (SMS) at Fort Pierce, Florida is a research center specializing in
marine biodiversity and ecosystems of Florida. Research focuses on the Indian River Lagoon and the offshore waters of Florida's east central coast, with comparative studies throughout coastal Florida.

The Station, a facility of the
National Museum of Natural History, is part of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, and serves as a field station which draws scientists and students from the Smithsonian and collaborating institutions around the world to investigate the plants, animals and physical processes in the ocean and Indian River Lagoon. Information uncovered at the Marine Station is published in scientific journals and forms the basis for effective public policies, conservation efforts, and resource management.

Dedicated to the "increase and diffusion of knowledge", the Marine Station offers online resources including the Indian River Lagoon Species Inventory and a public exhibit, the Smithsonian Marine Ecosystems Exhibit, which features aquaria that depict five local marine ecosystems, and many events and programs for the enjoyment and education of the public.

The Station also provides logistical and administrative management of the Caribbean Coral Reef Ecosystems Program (CCRE) based at the Carrie Bow Cay Field Station on the Meso-American Barrier Reef in Belize. SMS and CCRE are vital parts of the Marine Global Earth Observatory (MarineGEO), directed by the Smithsonian's Tennenbaum Marine Observatories Network (TMON).

Aerial view of the Smithsonian Marine Ecosystems Exhibit and the Smithsonian marine Station with labels

What's Happening at SMS (Visitors, Tours, Seminars, Etc...)

SMS News Summer 2016

Annual Open House

The Smithsonian Marine Station is once again opening its doors to the public!

Thursday, March 16 | 2:00-6:00pm - The Treasure Coast community is invited to come learn about the research being conducted by Smithsonian scientists and why understanding marine ecosystems is so important and relevant to the lives of everyone on the planet. Hands-on activities and demonstrations will be available for both children and adults. No advance registration is required for this FREE event. Call 772.462.6216 for more information.

SMS News Summer 2016

Marine Science Lectures at Pelican Yacht Club

The Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce is pleased to once again partner with the Pelican Yacht Club to offer a Smithsonian Marine Science Lecture Series in 2017. As a part of the world’s largest museum and research complex, SMS hosts many of the Smithsonian’s most exemplary researchers in the natural sciences.


Thursday, March 30 | A Call to ARMS: Measuring diversity in marine communities

Dr. Christopher Meyer, Research Zoologist at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History and Director of the Moorea Biocode Project


Lectures are held at 7:00pm in the Indian River Ballroom and will be followed by light refreshments. Admission is free and reservations are not required. For more information, please contact Joan Kaminski at 772.462.6220.

SMS News Summer 2016

Current SMS Newsletter

Bivalves and Brown Tides, Coral Reef Monitoring in Belize, Indian River Lagoon Science Festival and MORE...

weather tower

Local Conditions at SMS

The Marine Station has been recording and posting water quality information from our dock location since 2006. We are now also providing continuous recordings of local atmospheric conditions. Instruments on a 25' weather tower are recording rainfall, temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction, UV radiation and total solar output, and the data is being fed to our website. Check out this online resource at Most Recent Weather and Water Info from SMS and Detailed Water Conditions at our Dock.

tour participant

Behind-the-Scenes Tour of the Research Station

Third Thursday of each month at 2PM - Free. Registration is required.

Once a month we open our doors to the public to share current Smithsonian research on the plants and animals of the Indian River Lagoon and marine environments throughout the Caribbean. Tours are approximately one hour in length and begin at 2pm in the Conference Room. Suggested age: 14+

Please register online by following this link: ONLINE REGISTRATION
Questions? Please contact Laura Diederick at diederick [at]


Upcoming Tours: April 20, May 18, and June 15.
*** Please note that there is no tour on March 16, due to the annual Open House. All tours will be self-guided that day.

tour participant

Friday Afternoon Scientific Seminars

Our Friday afternoon scientific seminars are of a technical nature, geared toward members of the scientific community. They are held in teh conference room of the Smithsonian Marine Station at 3:00PM on Fridays (unless otherwise stated).


There are no seminars scheduled at the present time.

2015 annual report cover

SMS 2015 Annual Report

Learn more about the research and education activities of the Smithsonian Marine Station and Ecosystems Exhibit.

Intern seining with students

SMS 2013/2014 Biennial Report

For online viewing, click here. For a more printer-friendly version, click here.