• Dawn Sabato

Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center Captivates and Educates Visitors at the New St. Pete Pier

The 3,000 Square Foot Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center is the Only Marine

Environmental Experience in Downtown St. Pete

SAINT PETERSBURG, Fla. (July 7, 2020) - Tampa Bay Watch, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to restore and protect the bay's habitat through stewardship and community awareness, officially announces the long awaited opening of the Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center at the new St. Pete Pier™. Presented by the Milkey Family Foundation, the Discovery Center is the only marine environmental and educational experience in downtown St. Petersburg, providing guests from around the world an upfront opportunity to learn and live the story of the recovery of the Tampa Bay ecosystem.

With soaring rooflines, floor-to-ceiling glass walls, and outdoor wet classroom, the Discovery Center creates a dynamic visitor experience centered on environmental stewardship as well as the recovery and restoration of Tampa Bay, the largest estuary in the state of Florida. An exhibit-rich gallery of live marine habitats, hands-on interactive displays and video presentations tell the story of Tampa Bay and share the history and recovery of this unique ecosystem, and the integral role played by Tampa Bay Watch since 1993.

“We are  excited to bring our mission to the public in such an incredible location and to inspire visitors to become more aware and engaged stewards of their own environment,” said Dwayne Virgint, Discovery Center Executive Director. “At the Discovery Center, the whole family can participate in fun and engaging free programs and become a part of this unique ecosystem as it evolves.”

The Discovery Center features an exhibit gallery that brings this tale of environmental recovery to life, as well as an indoor classroom, outdoor “wet” classroom, and soon, a brand new Eco-tour boat and floating classroom. The focal point of the exhibit gallery is a centerpiece marine estuary habitat that showcases many of the species found in Tampa Bay. Touch tanks, interactive displays, video presentations, and docent-led tours all combine for an unforgettable experience designed to inspire guests to walk away with a newfound respect for our local environment and how small steps can make big changes in their own environment.

Incorporated in 1993, Tampa Bay Watch performs habitat restoration and protection activities throughout the year, relying heavily on the efforts of community volunteers. These programs seek to build citizen awareness, concern and participation through environmental outreach.

Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center ticketing information here.

St. Pete Pier Reservations (week of July 6 – 12, 2020) Information here. Planning ahead is encouraged.

The Center for Disease Control and the City of St. Petersburg recommend wearing a mask or cloth face covering. Visitors to the pier are encouraged to wear a mask whether indoors or outdoors; however, local directives require masks to be worn when inside places of public assembly, such as Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center. This will be enforced within the St. Pete Pier District.

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