Gulf Specimen Marine Lab & Aquarium, Panacea

4.5
#6 of 9 in Zoos & Aquariums in Florida Panhandle
Aquarium · Hidden Gem · Zoo / Aquarium
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For specific details on events or orders please call our office at (850)984-5297. Established in 1963, Gulf Specimen Marine Laboratory is an independent, nonprofit 501(c)3 organization that provides marine life to schools and research laboratories. We also study endangered species and conduct research in mariculture, farming the edge of the sea. Today we are an integral part of numerous research programs all over the United States, Canada and Europe. In 1995, due to continued strong growth in interest and attendance, GSML began a program to more strongly emphasize educational programs for regional schools, aquarium display and public visitation.

Our sea urchins and sponges have been sent to outer space and have been studied using some of the most sophisticated technology our society has to offer. Yet as modern day “hunter gathers” we employ many of the simple harvesting techniques that Indians, who subsisted on this bountiful Panhandle coast used thousands of years ago.

Whether it’s beach combing, digging up creatures on tidal flats, diving or net fishing, we take only what is needed, strive to keep from damaging the fragile marine habitats, and actively oppose pollution and careless coastal development so that the sea will continue to bring forth. Please help us protect the earth which grows such strange and beautiful creatures. Support the preservation and protection of natural area and avoid over consumptive habits.
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Gulf Specimen Marine Lab & Aquarium reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
185 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • We were pleasantly surprised by this small local aquarium. There were many regional specimens on display. The "touch tanks" were interesting and fun. I would definitely recommend a visit if you.....  more
    We were pleasantly surprised by this small local aquarium. There were many regional specimens on display. The "touch tanks" were interesting and fun. I would definitely recommend a visit if you.....  more »
  • What great little place to spend little time. Good value for your buck. There are several displays for one to touch the specimens. There was young gentleman that let us go watch him feed sharks and... 
    What great little place to spend little time. Good value for your buck. There are several displays for one to touch the specimens. There was young gentleman that let us go watch him feed sharks and...  more »
Google
  • Kid friendly and interactive. Starting with the touch tanks for kids to learn how the creatures feel to the touch to the favorites like the hermit crabs this is a great learning experience for the kids. It has a wide variety of wildlife and educational exhibits. The staff are more than happy to answer questions also.
  • A wonderful collection of live Gulf sea creature specimens, many of which can even be handled (with cleaned hands)! The staff is friendly, knowledgeable, and very available to answer questions and explain about the creatures who live there. This place is a nonprofit, 501(c)3 organization, NOT “road side zoo.” The place is quite interesting and worthy of support for their educational mission.

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