Estuarium in Dauphin Island

The Estuarium from the Marina
Photo by: Gnomedude, Creative Commons

The Dauphin Island Sea Lab Estuarium is a coastal water resource center that focuses on the four key habitats of costal Alabama: the Tensaw River Delta, Mobile Bay, the Barrier Islands, and the Northern Gulf of Mexico. Upon visiting this facility, you will have a deeper understanding of the interactions that take place in one of the largest estuary systems in the United States, the Mobile-Tensaw Estuary System.

The Estuarium is owned and operated by the Dauphin Island Sea Lab (DISL), a marine laboratory founded in 1971 by the state legislature. The lab also has research programs and coastal zone management services to impart the knowledge of marine life to the world.

The Estuarium offers a showcase for people of all ages like the 10,000 square foot exhibit hall, the Living Marsh Boardwalk (a walkway through a salt marsh rife with grasses and wildlife), Miss May (an open vessel that provides a hands-on look at navigation, personal flotation devices, marine debris information, and Mobile Bay-endemic seafood, which are oysters and shrimp), a real-time weather station, a gift shop and bookstore, the Billy Goat Hole Gallery (which contains a replica of an old French sailing vessel), touch tanks (which lets visitors touch aquatic animals), facilities for undergraduate and graduate students, dormitories and apartments, a cafeteria, an IT center, and a library. There are plenty of things to do indeed at this facility sandwiched between two pristine bodies of water.

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