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Visit Us

Visit the UGA Aquarium to observe and learn about Georgia’s diverse marine life.

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REGISTER HERE

Phone: 912-598-3474
Email: mared@uga.edu

The UGA Aquarium is only offering pre-scheduled one-hour small group visits at this time. More information below. 

Aquarium by Appointment

COVID Procedures

  • Visitors are required to wear face coverings while inside the facility and wash hands upon entry.
  • Re-entry to the facility after exiting will not be possible.

Available dates and times

Sessions are available Tuesday-Friday at 9 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. with Saturday sessions available at 10 a.m., 12 noon, 2 p.m. & 4 p.m.

Appointment details

  • One-hour visit to the UGA Aquarium for up to 10 total participants.
  • Visit includes a brief touch tank animal introduction and time to browse the aquarium with a marine educator present.
  • $50 fee for 6-10 visitors; $25 fee for 1-5 visitors. Online payment is required in advance. Reserve your time-slot by choosing from available dates and times on our registration page.
  • Late arrivals must depart at the end of scheduled appointment time.
  • Arrive early or stay after your appointment and visit our Jay Wolf Nature Trail!

Please email mared@uga.edu with any questions regarding your visit and we hope to see you soon.

 

About the aquarium

The UGA Marine Education Center and Aquarium is located in Savannah on Skidaway Island. Home to Georgia’s first saltwater aquarium, it features 16 exhibit tanks that showcase a variety of Georgia’s marine life.

Most species are caught by aquarium staff right off the coast. A public touch tank allows visitors to get up close and personal with some of Georgia’s marine invertebrates such as snails and crabs.

In addition to the aquarium, the facility hosts educational exhibits, an auditorium, two teaching laboratories, an art lab and a computer lab. There is also a dormitory and dining room on site to house and feed out-of-town groups.

A boardwalk over the salt marsh to the river supports the education program and is an ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act) sponsored platform that allows handicapped students to participate in the field courses. This boardwalk is part of the ADA approved nature trail that winds through the maritime forest and along the Skidaway River salt marshes.

Picnic tables line the bluff outside the back door along the Skidaway River and provide a perfect spot to eat lunch!

History

The University of Georgia opened the aquarium in 1972, after the dissolution of the Georgia Ocean Sciences Center, and the acquisition of the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography by the state university system.

Until the arrival of the Georgia Aquarium in 2005, it was the only saltwater aquarium in the state. It is funded almost entirely through public admission fees and program fees from visiting groups and workshops for marine science programs.

The Marine Education Center and Aquarium hosts around 25,000 visitors annually through formal education programs, general admission and Skidaway Marine Science Day, our annual open house. Visitors can observe exhibits of marine fish and invertebrates common to Georgia’s coastal region. Live tank displays of fish and invertebrates are supplemented with exhibits depicting local archeological and paleontological displays, Georgia history, as well as the present status of Georgia’s coastal resources.

Teacher workshops are held at various times throughout the year and during the summer months – one of which provides accredited classes in marine science from the University of Georgia. Seven different Sea Camp programs, each a week in duration, have attracted up to 260 young people annually. These camps are for specific age ranges from 4-15.

The Marine Education Center and Aquarium maintains the Jay Wolf Nature Trail and Boardwalk, which is wheelchair accessible for guests. Overlooking the Skidaway River and adjacent to the beginning of the Jay Wolf Nature Trail, a palm and oak shaded picnic area provides a scenic lunch destination. After taking a trawling trip or participating in one of many educational excursions aboard the 43′ R/V Sea Dawg, enjoy lunch at the picnic area.

Directions

From Tybee and Wilmington Islands:

  • Take Hwy. 80 West (Victory Drive) to the Truman Parkway going South.
  • Take the Truman Pkwy. to the Whitfield Ave. exit (just past the Montgomery Crossroads exit) and turn left at the ramp onto Whitefield Ave. (which turns into the Diamond Causeway) and follow it to Skidaway Island.
  • Cross two fixed bridges before reaching Skidaway Island.
  • Once on Skidaway Isl., continue through two (2) traffic lights & turn left at the 4-way stop onto McWhorter Rd.
  • Follow McWhorter 4 mi. bearing left after a green field toward the UGA Marine Educ. Ctr. & Aquarium parking lot.

From Downtown Savannah (Rt. 1):

  • Take Bay Street east to the end and make a left onto President Street.
  • Take President Street to the Truman Parkway going South (entrance on your left).
  • Take the Truman Pkwy. to the Whitfield Ave. exit (just past the Montgomery Crossroads exit) and turn left at the ramp onto Whitefield Ave. (which turns into the Diamond Causeway) and follow it to Skidaway Island.
  • Cross two fixed bridges before reaching Skidaway Island.
  • Once on Skidaway Isl., continue through two (2) traffic lights & turn left at the 4-way stop onto McWhorter Rd.
  • Follow McWhorter 4 mi. bearing left after a green field toward the UGA Marine Educ. Ctr. & Aquarium parking lot.

From I-16 (Rt 2):

  • Exit onto Hwy. 516 EAST (Lynes Pkwy., Exit A) which turns into DeRenne Ave.
  • Continue on DeRenne through seven traffic lights before reaching the Truman Parkway.
  • Veer right onto the Truman Parkway going South.
  • Take the Truman Pkwy. to the Whitfield Ave. exit (just past the Montgomery Crossroads exit) and turn left at the ramp onto Whitefield Ave. (which turns into the Diamond Causeway) and follow it to Skidaway Island.
  • Cross two fixed bridges before reaching Skidaway Island.
  • Once on Skidaway Isl., continue through two (2) traffic lights & turn left at the 4-way stop onto McWhorter Rd.
  • Follow McWhorter 4 mi. bearing left after a green field toward the UGA Marine Educ. Ctr. & Aquarium parking lot.

From I-95 South traveling North (Rt. 3):

  • Exit onto Hwy. 204 (Abercorn Extension).
  • Continue on Abercorn for several miles before reaching the south end of the Truman Parkway (entrance is on the right-hand side, just past Lowe’s on the left).
  • Take the Truman Pkwy. north 2 exits to the Whitfield Ave. exit and turn right at the end of the ramp onto Whitefield Ave. (which turns into the Diamond Causeway) and follow it to Skidaway Island.
  • Cross two fixed bridges before reaching Skidaway Island.
  • Once on Skidaway Isl., continue through two (2) traffic lights & turn left at the 4-way stop onto McWhorter Rd.
  • Follow McWhorter 4 mi. bearing left after a green field toward the UGA Marine Educ. Ctr. & Aquarium parking lot.

 

Location

30 Ocean Science Circle
Savannah, GA 31411

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