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, Field Guide to the Indian River Lagoon, 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 Smithsonian Marine Science Network.

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

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



Smithsonian Evening Lecture Series - 2015

Join us at 7PM on Thursday evenings at the Pelican Yacht Club at 1120 Seaway Drive for three exciting free lectures:

February 12 - Dr. Ilka (Candy) Feller of the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater, MD will speak about her research on "Mangroves Marching North: How Fast, How Far, and at What Cost?"

March 12 - Dr. Jos Verhoeven of Utrecht University in The Netherlands will speak about his research on "Reclaiming, Using, and Protecting Wetlands: How the Dutch Created The Netherlands"

April 2 - Dr. Nancy Knowlton, Sant Chair for Marine Science of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC will speak about her research on "Moving Beyond the Obituaries: Success Stories in Ocean Conservation"

Download a printable PDF flyer here.


We are seeking a Husbandry Intern at the Smithsonian Marine Ecosystems Exhibit. This temporary, full-time, unpaid position begins in mid-May and ends in mid-August. The application deadline is March 27, 2015. Click on this link for more information:
Summer 2015 Husbandry Internship

TMON Group Shot

Current SMS Newsletter

Global marine observatories, IRL Science Festival, a royal audience 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

Apr 16, May 21, Jun 18, Jul 16 at 2PM - FREE, but registration is required

Located at 701 Seaway Drive in Fort Pierce, our research laboratory is the workplace where our Smithsonian scientists and their colleagues from around the world carry out studies of the plants and animals that inhabit the Indian River Lagoon and other local marine environments. We’re not usually open to the public, but the third Thursday of the month is your chance to walk behind our usually-closed doors to learn what’s going on. Our postdoctoral fellows and resident and visiting scientists will be happy to tell you what questions they are investigating, and what interesting findings and observations they have made.

The tours are free, but registration is required.
Please contact Laura at diederick [at] or 462-6216 to register.


3-D lecture

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 the conference room of the Smithsonian Marine Station at 3:00 PM on Fridays (unless otherwise stated).

March 27 at 10 AM- Holly Brown, Smithsonian/Link Graduate Fellow
How Do Herons Compensate for Visual Challenges of Hunting Through the Air-Water Interface?