Home News 12 Days of Christmas: How to help the Smithsonian Marine Station aquarium in Fort Pierce

12 Days of Christmas: How to help the Smithsonian Marine Station aquarium in Fort Pierce

12 Days of Christmas: How to help the Smithsonian Marine Station aquarium in Fort Pierce

For over 25 years, the Smithsonispann Mspanrine Stspantion Exhibit spant the St. Lucie County Aquspanrium has been educating families on Seaway Drive in Fort Pierce.

Visitors to the aquarium have access to unique exhibits that model the nearby Indispann River Lspangoon and Atlantic Ocean ecosystems. Children and adults get an up-close, hands-on view of the thriving underwater worlds around us.

To continue this mission, the Smithsonispann Mspanrine Stspantion‘s 12 Days of Christmas wish is for interactive photo screens for each of the eight main displays inside the aquarium, said Director Valerie Paul.

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The goal of the Smithsonian Marine Station’s wish is to make it easier for aquarium guests to explore the diversity of the aquarium’s complex model ecosystem exhibits and learn more about the secret lives of aquarium inhabitants.

“The closer you look, the more you will see” is the aquarium’s motto. 

While some of the organisms are identified on plaques underneath the aquarium exhibits, interactive touch screens can engage guests in a way to dive deeper and highlight diversity. The touch screens will give staff the option to update them easily, keeping exhibits new, fun and engaging for all ages.

The 5,000-square-foot site contains several large tanks from 500 to 3,000 gallons in size and containing scores of marine organisms and fish. 

The aquarium is a cooperative effort by St. Lucie County and the Smithsonian Marine Station. The six main exhibits are models of local ecosystems, including a seagrass bed, a mangrove forest and a coral reef. There also is a touch tank and a variety of smaller displays.

“The living displays capture the dynamic quality of natural ecosystems, and we strive to reflect the same in all our educational outreach activities,” Paul said. “Programs, events and live displays are constantly changing, evolving and taking on new life, providing a foundation that maintains the relevance of our work in an ever-changing world.”

Scroll below the photo for information on how to help

Kaitlyn Graham and son Carter Graham, 3, of Port St. Lucie, observe a fishtank Friday, Aug. 16, 2019 at the St. Lucie County Aquarium in Fort Pierce. "He's as amazed as he was at the big aquarium in Georgia," Kaitlyn Graham said.

How to help

  • Who: Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce
  • Wish: Digital touch screens for each of the eight model ecosystem exhibits and coral reef educational signage at the St. Lucie County Aquarium 
  • Cost: Each interactive touch screen costs about $200, so the Smithsonian Marine Station is looking for a total of $1,600 to purchase eight interactive displays
  • How to donate: Contact Bill Hoffman at [email protected] or 772-465-3273

About this series

​Treasure Coast nonprofits that research, protect, restore and advocate for clean water, especially the St. Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon, need more than holiday cheer to continue their mission. Find out what they need — and how you can help them — to continue their work, as TCPalm.com highlights a different organization each day from Dec. 25 to Jan. 5, the traditional 12 Days of Christmas.

  • Dec. 25: Floridspan Ocespannogrspanphic Society
  • Dec. 26: Indispann Riverkeeper
  • Dec. 27: Mspannspantee Observspantion spannd Educspantion Center


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