The Marine Exploration Center is an immersive marine science and technology education facility dedicated to informing the public on how we know what we know about the marine world, through formal and informal programs and exhibits, while entertaining and encouraging the protection and conservation of our delicate and robust marine environment.  

Located at the Port of St. Petersburg with a view of beautiful Bayboro Harbor and Tampa Bay, we are conveniently located adjacent to the University of South Florida College of Marine Science and led by a premier consortium for marine research known as The St. Petersburg Ocean Team.

With such strong leadership, The MEC serves as the epicenter and public face for the marine research, technology and innovation taking place within the largest concentration of ocean research organizations in the Southeast United States.





The Marine Exploration Center provides a visionary, multi purpose facility and collaborative that will help all of us understand our connection with the ocean.  An active research facility exploring the living sea. 

Interactive and mysterious. 

Entertaining and educational.  

Find yourself immersed in the awe-inspiring story of the sea through 11 interactive and entertaining museum style exhibits. Engage for a day of exploration through purposeful research. Be in awe of the vibrant marine animals featured in our state of the art aquariums.  Watch a film or join a live feed from a NOAA Rover at sea on our 3D Digital Video wall. All this fun while learning to protect and conserve the world we live in and the waters that surround us right here in Tampa Bay.  




The St. Petersburg Ocean Team is the premier consortium for marine science, oceanographic and environmental research agencies and institutions in the Southeast and one of the top such industry clusters in the nation.

The Marine Exploration Center of St. Petersburg will be the public face for the research being conducted by The Ocean Team. Our facility will translate complex scientific information on the oceans, aquatic animals, conservation and up-to-date environmental issues into fun, easy-to-understand marine exploration stations, which will delight residents and visitors.

Members of The Ocean Team include the Marine Exploration Center of St. Petersburg Florida, NOAA-National Marine Fisheries Service, USF College of Marine Science, Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, United States Geological Survey, Florida Institute of Oceanography, U.S. Coast Guard, City of St. Petersburg, SRI International, IOI-International Ocean Institute, USF St. Petersburg, USF-Research & Innovation, Eckerd College Marine Science Department, and the Tampa Bay Estuary Program.

Many of The Ocean Team agencies have found a home in St. Petersburg's Bayboro Harbor. The Marine Exploration Center will offer these agencies even greater exposure for their research in a fun, family-centered environment.