Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce
The Smithsonian Marine Station (SMS) at Fort Pierce is a center for research and education in the marine sciences, specializing in studies of biodiversity and ecology of the marine and estuarine ecosystems of central and south Florida. The facility is a field station of the National Museum of Natural History and provides a vital link between tropical and temperate ecosystems in the coastal network of marine research stations known as the Smithsonian Marine Science Network. The Station hosts Smithsonian scientists and their colleagues from around the world, with over 120 scientific visitors annually. The Smithsonian Marine Ecosystems Exhibit is the outreach arm of SMS and focuses on displaying ecosystems as complex communities of organisms interacting in their environment. Visitors can explore six different Florida marine habitats, including a 3000-gallon Caribbean coral reef. Other displays include living models of seagrass, mangrove, estuarine and nearshore habitats, as well as a deepwater Oculina coral reef.