Gulf Specimen Marine Lab & Aquarium, Panacea

#6 of 8 in Zoos & Aquariums in Florida Panhandle
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 4.5
172 reviews
  • This was a wonderful little place to visit & spend the afternoon! Lots of hands on touching & up close & personal encounters with all kinds of marine life. Perfect for couples or kiddos...  more »
  • This was not a high-end aquarium in the same way the Shedd Aquarium is...but it’s devoted to Gulf creatures. It is both an indoor and outdoor exhibit. There are several “touch tanks” where kids can...  more »
  • Wonderful field trip experience! Very hands-on. The students really enjoyed being up close to the marine life. The staff were very patient and understanding with our students. Very knowledgeable too!
  • I really love the ocean and all the cool creatures, this place was so up close and personal with the animals. The nurse sharks were absolutely beautiful and the stingrays were stunning to look at. I've been to the Georgia Aquarium a ton of times but it has never been as good of an experience as here. The staff was super friendly too. Thank you for the wonderful time!!

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