Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce

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Everyone is invited to join in on the country-wide celebration of National Estuaries Day with the Smithsonian Marine Station, FAU Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute (HBOI) and dozens of local organizations on Saturday, September 28 from 10:00am to 3:00pm!  The Smithsonian and HBOI have partnered to host this FREE family-friendly community event at Museum Pointe Park (between the Aquarium and History Center) on South Hutchinson Island to celebrate the cultural, recreational and environmental importance of the Indian River Lagoon (IRL).

Event highlights include:

  • Free admission to the St. Lucie County Aquarium and Regional History Center
  • Hands-on activities, touch tanks, demonstrations
  • Opportunities to meet area scientists from the Smithsonian, FAU Harbor Branch, and Ocean Research & Conservation Association
  • Live musical entertainment by The Humdingers and concessions
  • Hands-on, feet-wet demonstrations and a bounce house for the kids
  • Discounted pontoon boat tours of the IRL ($11/person, space is limited)
  • A special presentation at 12 noon by Tim Brown from the Treasure Coast Wildlife Center, featuring live Florida wildlife, including birds of prey and reptiles

In addition to the Festival, and in partnership with the Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program, the Smithsonian, FAU Harbor Branch, the Manatee Center and Ocean Research and Conservation Association are organizing the St. Lucie County Hands Across the Lagoon event from 9:00am to 10:00am. Hands Across the Lagoon events are occuring in all five Lagoon counties to call attention to the declining condition of our Indian River Lagoon and to ask our leaders to make the health of the Lagoon a top priority.

Join your friends and neighbors in standing up for protection and restoration of our Indian River Lagoon. At 9:45am, participants will join hands for 15 minutes to show that we care about the Lagoon and want to see it restored to a healthy condition.

Come check out our exhibitors from all around the Treasure Coast:

  • Busch Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Conservation Center for Lake Okeechobee, Kissimmee & Indian Rivers & Everglades Education
  • Face Painting by Karla
  • Flotilla 58, United States Coast Guard Auxiliary
  • Fort Pierce Inlet State Park
  • Friends of St. Sebastian River
  • Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute -FAU
  • Inwater Research Group
  • Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program
  • J Wheeler Willis Photography
  • Lakelas Mint Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society
  • Lisa's Kayaks, Inc.
  • Manatee Center
  • Mike Bryan Art World
  • Motorized Kayak Adventures
  • Ocean Research and Conservation Association
  • Oxbow Eco-Center
  • Pink Zebra Soy Candles
  • Save the Manatee Club
  • Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers
  • Sea Beans from Exotic Lands
  • Sea Life Habitat Improvement Project
  • Sea Robotics
  • Sea Scouts
  • Sea-Life Habitat Improvement Project (SHIP)
  • St. Lucie Audubon Society
  • Team Frapper
  • Treasure Coast Casters
  • Treasure Coast Wildlife Center
  • Wrensong Science and Environmental Education

Enjoy a variety of concessions from area vendors:

  • Cool Treats of the Treasure Coast
  • Dough Dough's Doughnuts
  • Herbeque's BBQ
  • Second Street Bistro


The festival at Museum Pointe Park has been made possible through funding from the Friends of the Smithsonian Marine Station, FAU Harbor Branch, and the generous support of
St. Lucie County.  Festival planners are still looking for additional event sponsors. For more information on how individuals, groups and businesses can sponsor this event, please contact Cristin Ryan at 772.465.3271.

National Estuaries Day is an annual nationwide celebration of America’s estuaries – the vital coastal areas where freshwater and saltwater meet. The celebration, held each year on the last Saturday in September, provides a great opportunity to learn more about these invaluable ecosystems and how everyone can help protect them. To learn more about these national treasures, visit www.estuaries.noaa.gov. To learn more about the estuary in our own backyard, visit the Indian River Lagoon Species Inventory at www.sms.si.edu/irlspec.

Many thanks to our sponsors:

      Friends of SMS

      Harbor Branch Logo

      Lisa's Kayaks

      Scripps Logo



Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce
420 Seaway Drive, Fort Pierce, Florida 34949
Phone 772-462-6220, Fax 772-461-8154

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