As of June 22, our new Sea Tanks & Pavilions are open during ALL of our regular hours!
Sunday: 12-4; Monday-Saturday 9-4.
Housed under beautiful pavilions constructed with wooden beams and green metal roofs, each of the four saltwater tanks represents a different South Florida marine habitat. The tanks feature both natural and manmade elements, and offer differing views from each side. The two shallow tanks represent the coastal mangrove community and a nearshore reef, and contain permanent, custom designed and built habitats to represent the communities. The two deeper tanks, a tropical coral reef and an artificial reef/shipwreck, are currently outfitted with temporary habitats; the smaller deep tank with a temporary representation of a reef, and the larger deep tank will be exhibited with pelagic fish. Later this year, the deep tanks will be completed with permanent representation habitat. “We will continue to expand the animal populations in each tank over time. Sea turtles will be included at a later date, subsequent to receiving a permit from the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission,” says Manager Stefanie Ouellette.
The new saltwater tanks and pavilions are the result of over 6 years of planning, and funded by the Greater Boca Raton Beach and Park District (GBRBPD). Friends of Gumbo Limbo then raised over $250,000 to create habitats within the tanks with their Fill The Tanks (FTT) Campaign. “We had fabulous infrastructure, but we needed to transform them into learning centers” observed FTT Campaign Chair Patrick Shea. The GBRBPD recently provided the additional $250,000 needed to complete the complementary interpretive and interactive components for the outside of the tanks.
New curriculum will be developed for the public and the school programs which will take advantage of the educational value of having accurate, replicated habitats for close observation.
Gumbo Limbo Nature Center, operated by the City of Boca Raton with funding by the GBRBPD, is open 7 days a week, 361 days a year. Generous members and donors have enabled Friends of Gumbo Limbo, a 501(c)(3) corporation, to provide financial and advisory support to the Center since 1982.