Exploring The Daytona Beach Marine Science Center
Bring the whole family to a wonderful learning and hands-on wildlife experience at the Ponce Inlet Marine Science Center. This is the perfect place to explore a variety of wildlife, including turtles, pelicans and stingrays, and get the chance to touch and see these sea creatures and birds. What will you see at the Marine Science Center?
At the turtle rehabilitation, guests can explore seven turtle hospital pools at the Turtle Terrace in front of the main facility. This is where they house sick and injured sea turtles, hatchlings, and washbacks under rehabilitation. Once they have fully recovered, these sea creatures are released back to the shore. Freshwater turtles and land tortoises are included in the care and treatment at the turtle rehabilitation area.
The Marine Science Center has cared for nearly 900 juvenile and adult sea turtles, more than 15,000 hatchlings and washbacks, and nearly a thousand gopher tortoises, freshwater turtles and snakes since its opening in 2002.
The Mary Keller Seabird Rehabilitation Facility
The Mary Keller Seabird Rehabilitation is a sanctuary for care and treatment of injured and sick birds. Upon full recovery, these birds are released back into their natural habitat. However, some of the birds are housed and kept to become ambassadors of their species as part of the education programs and viewed for better understanding of the species. The center was named after Mary Keller, a local bird rehabilitator who dedicated her life in taking care of sick and injured birds in Volusia County for 30 years.
The Seabird Rehabilitation Center has treated more than 13,000 birds from over 190 different species since its grand opening in June 2004. Walk along the wooden “birdwalk” and gain a better understanding of various bird species.
Aquatic Touch Pool
Get your hands wet at this 13-foot long stingray touch pool and enjoy this rare opportunity of actually touching Atlantic stingrays, cownose rays, fishes (Atlantic bumper, Atlantic spadefish), hermit crabs, anemones, sea urchins and other species inhabiting Central Florida’s local waters. Call 386-304-5545 for more information.
Bird Observation Tower
Climb the bird observation tower located within the maritime habitat and get a kick out of the stunning views of the Ponce Inlet. While admiring the views, try to spot local birds such as bald eagles, Peregrine falcons, osprey and other bird species including pelicans, cormorants, egrets, and herons.
Of course, you can’t go home without dropping by at the Marine Science Center Gift Shop. They offer a wide array of nautical merchandise. If you’re fond of jewelry, the gift shop carries a diverse selection of gold and silver charms and bracelets.
For further learning, you can grab some marine related educational books, videos, puzzles, games and toys for your kid.
Bring home the beauty of the sea and shop for some garden treasures and house wares. Or you can opt for a customized t-shirt or sweatshirt with sea turtles and seabird designs.
Schedule & Admission
The center is open Tuesdays through Sundays. Check out their website for a more detailed information on Winter Hours and Summer Hours.
Seniors – $4
Adults (13 y/o and over) – $5
Youth (3-12) – $2
2 and under – FREE
*Photo Credit: Marine Science Center