Smithsonian scientists have been actively conducting marine research on the Treasure Coast of Florida since the early 1970's. Located in a biogeographical transition zone between tropical and temperate habitats, the area includes a high diversity of species in marine environments such as mangrove swamps, oyster and seagrass beds, sand and mud flats, and coral and worm reefs in the Indian River Lagoon estuary and the open ocean.
The Station's vigorous program emphasizes studies on the biodiversity, life histories, and ecology of marine organisms. The focus is on the estuarine and oceanic waters of the Treasure Coast, but with comparative studies throughout coastal Florida.
There are currently resident science programs in Benthic Ecology, Coral Health (CHAMP Lab), Chemical Ecology, Spatial Ecology of Marine Protected Areas and Life Histories of Marine Invertebrates. In addition, Smithsonian Visiting Scientists and their colleagues from leading scientific institutions throughout the world are conducting a variety of marine studies, and several postdoctoral and graduate student projects are also underway.