The Manatee Observation and Education 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. We are a not-for-profit organization operated by three full-time staff members, two part-time staff members, and nearly 100 volunteers. Administrative oversight of MOEC is led by the publicly-owned Fort Pierce Utilities Authority, and additional 501(c)(3) support is provided by the Treasure Coast Manatee Foundation. Read more about our mission and history.
The Center lies just west of the Atlantic ocean and straddles the nationally recognized Indian River Lagoon, a saltwater estuary, and Moore's Creek, a freshwater tributary. The site is a historical congregating place for Florida manatees as a result of warm water effluence from the long-retired Henry B. King Power Plant. While the plant is no longer there, it continues to be a congregating place for manatees and visitors alike.
Florida manatees frequent the Center year-round,
but remember, they are in the wild
so there's no telling when they'll swim by!
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. 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 the 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. And visit the pond area to read about our effort to sprout red mangrove propagules to donate and plant along the shoreline where needed.
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 activities 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 curricula 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 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