Treasure Coast Essay
7:20 am
Mon December 3, 2012

Smithsonian Marine Station selected for major project


When you drive by it, you may wonder what they do in there.  I’m referring to the Smithsonian Marine Station on the south side of Seaway Drive in Fort Pierce.  What they do in there is study the plants and animals of the Indian River Lagoon and the Atlantic Ocean off Florida’s East Central Coast.  Their research must be impressive.  For the Marine Station recently was selected as one of only five sites in the world for a special study of how seagrasses and other marine life are changing.  The goal is to establish a database for measuring global warming and the human impact on marine ecosystems.  One of the other research sites is in Maryland, one is in Belize and two are in Panama.  A $10 million private grant to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington is funding the study.  The Smithsonian Marine Station is usually not open to the public, but across Seaway Drive, you can visit the Smithsonian Marine Ecosystems Exhibit, where you can explore six different Florida marine habitats and learn about the complexity and importance of the marine life around us.  One of the aquariums is a model of a Caribbean coral reef.  After your visit, you will have a better idea of what they are doing at the Smithsonian Marine Station on the other side of Seaway Drive.  For 88.9 FM, this is Paul Janensch.