Capital Expansion

Coming Soon! 

Ocean EcoCenter - Explore Florida's Coastal Ecosystems
Rendering of the new building

WPTV Covers the UPCOMING Expansion at the Coastal Center 


Project Updates from Mark Perry, Executive Director: 
*April 18, 2019

Click here to read the official statement regarding the Ocean EcoCenter observation platform. 


*April 9, 2019 

We are excited about our new Ocean EcoCenter and what it will mean for the community. We have been in development review on the project with Martin County staff since September 2018. On Tuesday, March 26th, we reviewed the plan with the Martin County Board of County Commissioners. The proposed observation platform is currently at 39 feet and requires guardrails and a roof overhead so the Martin County staff had suggested that we ask the Commission to explore adding wording to the Land Development Regulation that would allow us to add the guardrails and a roof over the observation platform. We appreciate the staff’s hard work on this project and the direction from the Commission who  voted unanimously to review the relevant wording. We are looking forward to a ground-breaking later this year! 

Site map of new coastal center grounds

In 2018 Florida Oceanographic Society announced plans for an exciting expansion to the Coastal Center. The components of our Capital Expansion will allow us to engage our community in ways that we were unable to do before. The new Ocean EcoCenter will support our continued growth and inspire our ever-growing number of visitors to understand and protect Florida's coastal ecosystems.

We will be able to share our mission through interactive exhibits, play-based learning activities and educational programming. The Ocean EcoCenter will include a dedicated indoor classroom space and an Ocean Deck that can be used for lectures and special events. In addition to the new Ocean EcoCenter, we will be adding Lagoon Bridges that will carry visitors to the island and give them a unique point of view of our 750,000 gallon Gamefish Lagoon and the animal ambassadors that call it home.

Our Gift Shop will also be expanding from 300 sq. ft. to 1,100 sq. ft. The anticipated increase in sales will help to support our programming at the Coastal Center. Lastly, the Waterworks Exploration Zone will be an area that mixes education and fun with water-based learning. Visitors will learn more about how water moves and flows through different ecosystems in Florida.

Please contact our Development Office at 772-225-0505 x108 for more information about the expansion and ways you can contribute.

Key Features of Expansion Plan 


Ocean EcoCenter 

Allows us to expand the reach of our mission and provide larger exhibit and classroom spaces. 


Lagoon Bridges

Gives guests the opportunity to view gamefish in the Gamefish Lagoon with better top-down viewing. 


Gift shop expansion 

Increases our funding to support our programming at the Coastal Center and in the community. 


Waterworks exploration zone

Engages visitors in an interactive manner with water-based learning.