About Us

Gumbo Limbo Nature Center is a Coastal & Marine Experience Unlike Any Other!

gumbo limbo tree and nature center building

Founded in 1984, Gumbo Limbo Nature Center is a unique cooperative project of the City of Boca Raton, the Greater Boca Raton Beach and Park District, Florida Atlantic University, and Friends of Gumbo Limbo.

Last year, more than 200,000 visitors took a break from the city bustle to enjoy a walk on our boardwalk, count the thousands of tropical fish in our aquariums, relax in our butterfly garden, or check on the patients in our sea turtle rehabilitation facility.

As a beacon for environmental education, research, and conservation, Gumbo Limbo’s 20 acres on the protected barrier island provide refuge to many varieties of plants and animals - some rare or endangered.  It also represents a commitment to protect our natural resources by our staff,  volunteers, and the organizations that comprise the Center.

The preservation of our natural environment and wildlife resources has been recognized as a national concern for all of our families.  You can join us in our Mission to increase public awareness of our coastal and marine ecosystems and support our educational, conservation, and research efforts by becoming a Member of Friends of Gumbo Limbo.

What We Do

School Programs

  • Every year more than 5,000 school students in coastal and marine ecology visit Gumbo Limbo with their school.
  • Programs are designed to meet the Science Next Generation Sunshine State Standard and National Core Standard requirements in science education.

Sea Turtle Conservation

  • We monitor over 1000 nests a year within a five mile span of beaches.
  • We rescue, rehabilitate, and release sick and injured sea turtles.
  • We release more than 9,000 stranded sea turtle hatchlings each nesting season.

Public Programs

  • We offer a variety of programs for children, adults, and families taught by qualified educators, biologists, and naturalists.
  • Most programs feature small group sizes and are offered at no-to-low cost.
  • More than 44,000 people participate annually in our public programs.


  • Florida Atlantic University conducts valuable scientific research in the unique setting offered at Gumbo Limbo. Through this partnership, studies are being conducted on:
    • sea turtle behavior, physiology, and ecology
    • ocean acidification and the impacts on algae and corals
    • shark and elasmobranch physiology
  • The research creates practical applications in the conservation of sea turtles and other marine life.
  • Friends of Gumbo Limbo supports multiple types of research, all of which advance the science behind inspiring stewardship of coastal and marine environments.


Friends of Gumbo Limbo is dedicated to the mission we share with Gumbo Limbo Nature Center of inspiring stewardship of our coastal and marine ecosystems through education, research, and conservation. Friends and its staff provide resources through Memberships, the Gift Shop, donations, sponsorships, foundation gifts, and annual fundraising events.