Gulf Specimen Marine Lab & Aquarium, Panacea

4.5
#6 of 8 in Zoos & Aquariums in Florida Panhandle
Must see · Aquarium · Zoo / Aquarium
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
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
174 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • I've been going to Florida since the early 70's and this place reminded me of that early time which is a great thing. There are lots of sea life to see and it's very hands on. Our 2 ten year olds and....  more »
  • This is a good old fashioned mom&pop operation run by folks who truly care about their animals and where they live. The buildings and tanks show their age but none if that detracts from the...  more »
  • 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 »
Google
  • 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!!
  • This is such an amazing little aquarium. My granddaughter suggested we visit here as a family because she had been there for a school field trip and it was wonderful. We liked touching so many creatures and learning so much about aquatic life
  • This was by far the coolest aquarium we have been to. It was very small and very natural but an amazing experience. Great for children. It was more of a learning experience for the kids which was awesome. There were lots of touch tanks which were very fun for the kids and also very cool for the adults in our group too. I highly recommend. You can tell the staff truly care about the animals!
  • Absolutely Fabulous!!! Allison was so enthusiastic and excited about all the spectacular critters. She made everything come to life and spark my interest. A MUST DO. Weel worth the trip.

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