Science Field Trip: Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center

It has been at least 6 years since we visited FOCC on Hutchinson Island’s south end. With it being just two miles from us, it was time for a science trip. FOCC has plenty to see and do at it’s 57 acre site including nature trails, a game and local fish lagoon, Rays on the Reef Ray Pavilion, where you can feed and touch sting rays, and the Frances Langford Visitor’s Center. They have many educational programs and are committed to research and preservation of this very diverse part of Florida.



We arrived just in time for lunch(for the sting rays!) The menu; fresh fish, calamari (squid), and shrimp. After we all had a chance to touch the sting rays (their barbs have been removed) as they swam by, Tyler decided that since Amber was the animal lover, she could do the feeding… she’s definitely not afraid of getting her hands dirty!


Later on, we spent a good amount of time inside the Francis Langford Visitor Center where there was plenty to see, touch, and observe.


For our young (or young at heart) followers, can you find the:

  • Sea Urchin (trying to camoflague itself)
  • Sea Anemone
  • Sea Turtle carapace (shell)
  • Sea Cucumber
  • Eel (which scared Amber when he shot out of his hiding place!)
  • Seahorse


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We also saw an extensive collection of fish from this area and in the Carribean, that were caught and donated by Frances Langford.

Did you know that the Dolphin is a fish? Restaurants in this area often serve fresh Dolphin, but had to answer to those who were upset (and confused) by seeing it on the menu. Some of those same restaurants now have Mahi-mahi on the menu (the adopted Hawiian name for the fish) for those patrons who mistake it with the playful mammal that we envision jumping through hoops and kissing Sea World visitors.

Dolphin - center of photo - greenish in color with a flattened nose and long dorsal fin 


Blue Marlin



     The parts of the Blue Fin Tuna that the shark didn't getSailfish


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