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wavy Ocean Discovery Day headline, FREE day of familiy fun and education

Student drawing of a dolphin jumping out of the ocean with the sun rising in the background

Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary and the NOAA Fisheries Service Galveston Laboratory are happy to once again sponsor NOAA Ocean Discovery Day.

Saturday, March 14, 2015
9 a.m. to 3 p.m.


NOAA Galveston Facility
4700 Avenue U
Galveston, TX 77551

Map showing directions to the NOAA Galveston facility

Click on map image for a larger view.

This FREE event is designed to introduce residents and visitors to NOAA programs in their community. 

Download a flyer (210kb pdf)

Visitors gather around a volunteer talking about a coral core sample 
Visitors learned about the people after whom we named local ocean features (Ocean Discovery Day 2013).

Come enjoy hands-on activities that illustrate real science, see the sea turtles in the grow-out facility, learn how dolphins are rescued, talk to the scientists, educators, law enforcement officers, and managers responsible for the many services NOAA provides in this part of the Gulf.

Sea turtle swimming in the NOAA grow-out facility
NOAA's Sea Turtle Facility will be open to the
public during Ocean Discovery Day

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While activities will be happening all over the NOAA Galveston Lab, we'd like to point out a few special things taking place at Building 216, headquarters for Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary.

Mural Painting - Help us create a mosaic mural showcasing the sea turtle of the Gulf of Mexico. Don't worry about the mess, we'll provide the smocks!

Marine mammals of the Gulf of Mexico mural showing several whale and dolphin species
This marine mammals of the Gulf of Mexico mural was created at Ocean Discovery Day 2014. Come help us create a new one this year!

Sanctuary History - Visit displays about the Flower Garden Banks sanctuary and the possibility of expanding the sanctuary to include other special areas in the Gulf of Mexico. There are at least 20 Things to Love about the sanctuary!

A man talking to two boys about coral reefs and ancient fossil reefs in Texas.
Bill Kiene talked to guests about ancient reefs across Texas during Ocean Discovery Day 2013.

Lionfish - Visit with a lionfish caught in the sanctuary and learn why it's such a problem to have lionfish on our reefs. Discover what NOAA and its partners are doing to manage this invasive species.


  • It will probably take 1-2 hours to see everything that will be available during the event. No reservations are required.
  • Most activities will be inside the various buildings on property, but some demonstrations will be set up outside. You may visit as many or as few as you wish.
  • Some activities may help students meet requirements for various scout badges/awards.
  • There will be no food or drink vendors at this event.
  • Handicap parking is available on the grounds. All other parking will be located outside the fence along Avenue U (north side of facility) and Fort Crockett Boulevard (south side).

A young boy looks into a microscope as a NOAA employee looks on.  Various fish posters are displayed in background.
A young visitor looks at a fish otolith under the microscope

If you still have questions, please email us at
or call Shelley DuPuy at 409-621-5151, ext. 106.

View Ocean Discovery Day 2013 photos

View Ocean Discovery Day 2012 photos

View Ocean Discovery Day 2011 photos

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weather report observations cool stuff get wet

Ruby brittle star in foreground, snaking across a spawning star coral in background.  Coral spawn looks like white BBs floating up from the coral.
National Marine Sanctuary logo - a stylized whale tail above waves