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Learn, Explore and More at the Tybee Island Marine Science Center

If you’re looking for a memorable experience on Tybee, you can’t miss the Tybee Island Marine Science Center. For many years, the Marine Science Center was located in a small facility near the Tybee Pier & Pavilion, but in March 2021, it officially moved to a new, state-of-the-art, 5,000-square-foot building that overlooks Tybee’s North Beach. This incredible facility features several galleries housing various live animals, an interactive exhibit of Gray’s Reef, an outdoor amphitheater and playground, and even an underground area with large tanks for housing sea turtles in rehabilitation.


Let’s dive deeper into some of the awesome experiences the Tybee Marine Science Center offers.

Coastal Georgia Galleries

Perhaps one of the greatest draws to the Marine Science Center is its Coastal Georgia Galleries. These two galleries feature catch-exhibit-release animals, so you’re sure to see a variety of creatures every time you visit. Animals include baby alligators, polka-dot batfish, spider crabs, loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings, diamondback terrapins, corn snakes, box turtles, horseshoe crabs and more. The center’s knowledgeable and enthusiastic staff will teach you all about the animals, including what activities are involved in rescuing and caring for these fascinating creatures. And if you really want to get hands-on, there are even touch tanks where you can feel and hold some of the animals!  

Interactive Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary Exhibit

The Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary is located approximately 19 miles off the coast of Georgia and spans about 22 square miles. To explore it, you would typically need to charter a boat, don your scuba gear and dive 70 feet below the surface. Or, you could go to the Tybee Island Marine Science Center and get an up-close-and-personal view of the sanctuary without having to get your hair wet. The interactive Gray’s Reef Exhibit is the first of its kind in the region. It features a touchscreen multimedia gallery with 360-degree photos and videos that have never been presented to the public before now. You’ll see interactive live footage, hear an audio track with actual recordings from underwater microphones, explore a living reef, and even watch a loggerhead sea turtle swim right over the camera! This fascinating exhibit is great fun for kids and adults alike.

Sea Camp

If your child is an aspiring marine biologist or loves learning about and interacting with marine wildlife, be sure to sign them up for the Marine Science Center’s Sea Camp! This camp provides an authentic, hands-on experience that introduces kids to animals native to Coastal Georgia. The engaging program teaches campers via the classroom, the beach, field trips, and other fun outdoor activities. Campers participate in creative activities, conduct experiments, collect sea life, take boat trips to explore the marsh and observe dolphins, and engage with nature, all while developing an appreciation for the coast and its inhabitants. Sea Camp is for kids 6-11 years old.

Walks, Talks and Treks

The Marine Science Center also offers guided activities for adults and kids of all ages through their Walks, Talks and Treks series. These activities include:

  • Beach Walks: Join a marine science educator for a guided walk along Tybee’s North Beach, where you’ll learn about the dynamics of Georgia’s barrier islands, the importance of the intertidal zone, the forces behind tides and waves, and sand dune formation. You’ll also explore the wildlife that lives in and around the ocean and learn about the impact of marine debris and shoreline development.
  • Marsh Trek: Take a trek through a salt marsh and get your hands dirty exploring the mud while searching for fiddler crabs, snails and more. Learn about the adaptations necessary for survival in this environment, how the marsh functions as a nursery for many organisms, a filter for pollutants, and as an abundant food source.
  • Sift ‘N’ Seine: Adults and kids ages 9+ can discover the marine life of the intertidal zone through seining. Pull a 10-foot seine net through waist-deep water to catch, examine, and release marine life. Some commonly caught organisms on this trip include pompanos, silversides, mullets, sea jellies and crabs. After seining, you’ll explore the marine life of the sandy bottom by sifting various organisms from the wet sand on the beach.
  • Turtle Talk: A variety of sea turtles nest on the beaches of Coastal Georgia, including Loggerheads, Kemp’s Ridley, Greens and Leatherbacks. Check out a Turtle Talk to learn about the incredible lives of these sea turtles, including their anatomy, natural adaptations, natal beaches, and Tybee Island’s conservation efforts. You’ll even see a live feeding of the Marine Science Center’s visiting Loggerhead!

Marine Science Center Details

37 Meddin Dr.

Tybee Island, GA 31328


  • Summer Hours: Wednesday-Sunday from 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Winter Hours: Wednesday-Sunday 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Admission is $10/per person. Free access for children four and under.
  • Last ticket sold at 4:15 p.m.

For information about the Tybee Island Marine Science Center, visit their website here.


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