Discover FAU Harbor Branch

Ocean Discovery Visitors Center

The Ocean Discovery Visitors Center is the public gateway to FAU Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute and showcases the on-going efforts of our marine scientists and engineers. Our research-themed exhibitions provide visitors with an up-close look at the cutting-edge methods and technologies that have led to nearly 50 years of discoveries around the world. The Center also contains over 1,000 gallons of aquaria and is home to more than 80 different species of plants and animals. Our live displays highlight fascinating marine environments from seagrass beds to coral reefs and even include demonstrations of our state-of-the-art sustainable aquaculture systems. Our goal is to bring awareness to the importance of marine research and wildlife, connect visitors with our experts and inspire people of all ages to work together to conserve our blue planet.

Ocean Discovery Visitors Center
Admission to the Center and interpretive tours are free, though donations are encouraged to help support our outreach programs. Advance reservations are necessary for groups that have 10 or more people or require special accommodations.

For more information please call 772.242.2293.

Directions to the Center can be found here.

Hours of Operation

Current Exhibitions Include

Marine Biomedical & Biotechnology
Take a journey from the ocean to the pharmacy while learning about how our researchers discover, test and understand the medicinal properties of marine chemicals.

Marine Mammal Conservation
From local dolphins and manatees to whales that travel the world- learn about the health and behavior of these animals as well as success stories from our rescue team. 

Aquaculture & Stock Enhancement
Learn about the plants and animals that our researchers are growing and the sustainable systems they have developed to help feed the world and protect the environment.

Current Exhibitions
Marine Ecosystem Health
Explore the relationships between human activities and the health of our environment while learning about important species like seagrasses, turtles, sharks and corals.

Ocean Engineering and Exploration
Get an up-close look at the cutting-edge technologies that enable us to discover, map, sample and observe the ocean’s diverse organisms and habitats.

A Journey Through the History of Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute
Dive into our rich 50-year history as well as some of our greatest discoveries!

Student Information Station
Learn about the next generation of marine scientists- our graduate students- as well as the many education programs offered across FAU’s six campuses.

Interpretive Tours

Guests can participate in an interpretive tour of the Ocean Discovery Visitors Center led by an FAU Harbor Branch graduate student or outreach scientist. This interactive tour provides an excellent overview of the Institute as well as the opportunity to learn about the research equipment and live aquaria displayed throughout the center. 

Interpretive tours are available anytime that the center is open and last approximately 45 minutes. Admission and interpretive tours are free, though donations are encouraged and can be made by cash, check or credit card.

Interpretive Tours

Advance reservations are required for groups of 10 or more guests or for groups that require special accommodations. More information about our group visit options can be found here.

Specialty tours for high school or college student groups are also available and more information can be found here.

You can also take a behind the scenes look around FAU Harbor Branch through a series of Virtual Tours. These videos highlight our various research projects, state of the art facilities and equipment, as well as views from our historic 144-acre campus that is located along the Indian River Lagoon.

FAU Harbor Branch Gift Shop

Located in the Ocean Discovery Visitors Center, our gift shop offers a variety of FAU Harbor Branch merchandise as well as ocean-themed and eco-friendly gifts. Guests can also visit the gift shop to make reservations for our campus, boat and specialty tours

Our new online gift shop also offers a selection of our in-store merchandise.

gift shop

HBOI ocean fish