The long range vision of the Marine Discovery Center is to see a healthy Indian River Lagoon Estuary (IRL) and the ecosystem it supports preserved and enjoyed for its natural beauty, unmatched diversity of species and rich fishery for generations to come. In order to preserve the IRL for the enjoyment of future generations, a goal of the Marine Discovery Center is to showcase the biodiversity of this treasured natural resource and to examine, research and encourage human interaction "On the Water" with the estuary. The Marine Discovery Center offers a two-hour Dolphin Discovery Boat Tour, full moon boat tours, sunset boat tours, and guided kayak tours along the Indian River or guided sunset full moon kayak tours. Choose the best fit for you! Open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Saturday through Sunday, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
You don't have to be taking a boat or kayak tour, participating in a naturalist class or public lecture, or attending camp to enjoy a visit to the Marine Discovery Center. We have those...and so much more! Admission to our facility and grounds is free. Choose to explore the following:
Discover some of the amazing animals that live in and near the Indian River Lagoon and coastal ecosystems in our live aquariums. Our aquarium habitats feature animals like fish, snails, urchins, horseshoe crabs, turtles and even a shark! We also feature a touch tank for visitors of all ages to discover and learn about some of our smaller creatures from the Indian River Lagoon. Get an up close, guided encounter during one of our live animal feedings!
Discover more amazing facts about animals in the Indian River Lagoon and coastal waters through a variety of educational and interactive exhibits, featuring animal specimens such as sea turtles, gopher tortoises, sharks and dolphins! All of our exhibits are free and open to the public during operating hours. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, we offer a $2 guided exhibit tour and live animal feeding.
Shop in our MDC gift shop, featuring local and environmentally conscious products. There is plenty to choose from for all ages, including Marine Discovery Center merchanidse. All proceeds go back to support MDC's facilities and programs.
Explore the beautiful Butterfly Garden, built by the New Smyrna Beach Men's Garden Club. This landscape features native plants to attract butterflies as well as a relaxing shaded seating area for your butterfly viewing. It also features a cedar pergola built by a local eagle scout!
Brand new to MDC, our nature playscape offers kids and adults the perfect play area to explore nature. It is conveniently located near our outdoor seating areas so parents can watch their kids discover amazing while relaxing in the shade.
A five-acre restored salt marsh on the Marine Discovery Center property features a nursery full of animals including birds, fish, invertebrates, mangroves, marsh grasses and much more. Explore the marsh and living shoreline demo area through walking trails and educational signs. This site is open to the public 24/7.
Continue along the walking path from the salt marsh up Mount Morgan for a wonderful view of New Smyrna Beach and beyond. Listen and look for all sorts of life coming from the surrounding marsh and mangrove forests. You can even spot the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse from the top!
Recreational activities are permitted on the Marine Discovery property, such as fishing, kayaking, paddle boarding, cast netting, dog walking, etc. There is a public kayak launch and fishing site located on the east perimeter of the property. Please follow all signs and posts while using the MDC property for recreational activities.