Visitors to the Florida Keys now have a way to experience the underwater ecosystem without getting wet. The six million-dollar Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center opened Saturday. The 6,400-square-foot center showcases the underwater and upland habitats that characterize the Keys, with an emphasis on North America's only living contiguous barrier coral reef that parallels the island chain.
James Connaughton is the chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality and keynote speaker at the opening.
“The eco discovery center is one of the most important ways to introduce the public to some of the nation’s treasures including the Florida keys. By educating the public before they access the resource they can appreciate the resource and assure it’s conservation and availability for future generations.”
Through interactive and touch-screen modules, text and audio/video components, visitors to the center can explore the Keys' hardwood hammock, mangrove, patch reef, seagrass, deep shelf and Dry Tortugas environments.
The Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center is now open, allowing visitors to experience the underwater ecosystem without getting wet.
The 6,400-square-foot, 6 million dollar center showcases the habitats that characterize the Keys, especially North America's only living contiguous barrier coral reef. Scenes playing on an underwater video camera, allow guests to emulate the work of marine biologists observing the annual coral spawn and monitoring the health of a coral reef. James Connaughton is the chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality and he was keynote speaker at the opening.
“The beauty of the eco-discovery center is you can get under the water without getting wet but it’s going to be an inspiration so that when you do get to the water you’re going to treat it in a sensible way and again make it available for future generations.”
Exhibition highlights include a walk-through version of the Aquarius Undersea Lab, a manned underwater research laboratory located off Key Largo. Visitors can hear actual recordings from the lab, take interactive video tours of the Keys' undersea world and view indigenous fish and sea creatures through video screens shaped like portholes.
Monday, 15 January 2007 00:00
Keys Eco-Discovery CenterWritten by WGCU Newsroom