About The Manatee Center
Discover the Manatee Center!
The Manatee Observation and Education Center is a waterfront environmental education and wildlife viewing center located on Florida's east coast in beautiful downtown Fort Pierce. The Center lies just west of the Atlantic ocean and overlooks the nationally recognized Indian River Lagoon, a saltwater estuary, and Moore's Creek, a freshwater tributary and historical resting spot for the Florida manatee.
What's there to see?
The endangered Florida manatee, also called sea cow, frequent the Center year-round but remember, they are in the wild so no one knows when they will swim by! Stand along the covered observation walkway or climb the second story observation tower for your chance to see Florida's "Gentle Giants" resting or playing in Moore's Creek. You may also see a variety of other wildlife including Bottlenose Dolphin, Mullet, Brown Pelicans, and Terns.
Stroll through the Center's gardens where red, yellow, and purple flowers abound. We are striving to replace exotic plants with native plants to attract Florida's colorful butterflies. Visit the pond area to read about our effort to sprout red mangrove propagules to donate and plant along the shoreline where needed.
Come inside the Center to learn about manatees and other wild animals, Florida's diverse habitats and much more. Explore hands-on exhibits and informational displays that are both fun and educational.
What is our purpose?
The Manatee Observation and Education Center’s primary purpose is to promote understanding and responsible actions for the fragile ecosystems of the Treasure Coast and their inhabitants. We are here to educate you about nature, how humans impact the environment, and teach ways to interact with our natural environment to lessen that impact.
Enjoy activies such as our Indian River Lagoon Wildlife Boat Tours and Kayak adventures. Join us for special events such as NatureFest, Summer Camps, Brown Bag Lunch Lecture Series, and exciting guest speakers. For more information call (772) 466-1600, ext. 3333.
We teach planned educational curriculum for grades Kindergarten through fifth grade. As a part of our educational program, teachers can choose from subjects such as manatees, butterflies, insects, endangered species, sea turtles and more. We are in the process of developing curriculum for secondary students. If you are a teacher and would like to schedule a class, call (772) 466-1600, ext. 3337.
How do we operate?
The Center has two full-time and two part-time employees, but it is primarily operated by its team of 80+ dedicated volunteers. Admission is $1.00 per person, children 5 and under are free with a paying adult, and members are free. Donations are gratefully accepted and memberships are available. Sponsorships of programs and events are critical to the Center’s success. In addition, all proceeds from purchases in our gift shop help to educate more people about manatees and nature.
(1) © 1998 Michael Bragg - All Rights Reserved