UGA Marine Education Center and Aquarium displays local marine life in 16 unique exhibit tanks.
Visitors can explore exhibits featuring over 200 marine animals typical of the habitats found along the Georgia coast.
Trek from offshore “live bottom” reefs like Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary to inshore tidal creeks as you view the main display tanks. Discover different themes and species at each tank. Visit bottom dwelling horseshoe crabs and stingrays, schooling fish like striped mullet and pompano, sport fish, oddly shaped fish like the longnose gar and the seahorses, and invasive species like the red lionfish. Our freshwater tank houses two American alligators, which are considered “keystone species” on Georgia barrier islands.
Display cases on the aquarium’s upper level house fossils of sharks, giant armadillos, whales, mastodons and wooly mammoths dredged from the Skidaway River. Native American artifacts dating back to the “Guale” era of Georgia’s prehistory are also on exhibit.
Sea Turtle Ambassadors
The UGA Aquarium collaborates with the GA-DNR, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Caretta Research Project to accept a new hatchling “straggler” every few years. The hatchlings live at the facility for three to four years before being released or transferred to a larger home at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta. There is currently one loggerhead sea turtle on display at the UGA Aquarium; Lefty, who arrived at the aquarium in 2015.
Have you ever picked up a knobbed whelk? Have you ever felt a hermit crab tickle your hand? Come discover some animals in the Touch Tank exhibit for “hands-on”, or rather “hands-in” learning about invertebrates commonly found in and around Georgia’s beaches and estuaries. Animals may include spider crabs, hermit crabs, horseshoe crabs and whelks.
Gray’s Reef Diorama
Explore Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary, located just 18 miles off the coast of Georgia, and the animals that inhabit this unique area with the interactive, 3D diorama and touch-screen computer that has HD video of Gray’s Reef.
Groves Creek Fossils and Artifacts
The present-day coast of Georgia has greatly changed over millions of years. View fossils from the last Ice Age, when sea level was much lower than today, to learn about animals formerly found on the present-day coast.
See the artifact collection to learn about the daily lives of native people that occupied coastal Georgia thousands of years before European explorers arrived.