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Ocean Discovery Day, Lots of fun, creative, hands-on activities and cool techology. A FREE day of family fun and discovery! Saturday, March 12, 2016, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., 4700 Avenue U, Galveston, TX


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 12, 2016
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 (256kb pdf)

Volunteers are also needed to help staff this event.

Volunteer flyer (36kb pdf)

Table top and easel displays of maps showing potential sanctuary expansion areas 
Sanctuary expansion was a major topic of discussion at Ocean Discovery Day 2015. Visitors were even able to submit online comments about expansion.

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!

Composite mural of shallow reefs of FGBNMS
This shallow reefs of FGBNMS mural was created at Ocean Discovery Day 2016. Come help us create a new one next 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!

Table top and easel displays of maps showing potential sanctuary expansion areas 
Sanctuary expansion was a major topic of discussion at Ocean Discovery Day 2015. Visitors were even able to submit online comments about expansion.

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.

Kids looking at a small table top aquarium housing a young lionfish
A lionfish display station introduces visitors to this invasive predator and the problems it is creating in the Gulf of Mexico.

Crafts and Activities - Do crafts and activities with some of our community partners who share their ocean science conservation knowledge with visitors.

Young girl piecing together a magnetic fish
A young visitor learned about the parts of a fish and designed her own using magentic parts. This activity was hosted by SMART Family Literacy at our 2015 event.



  • 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 a microscope

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

View Ocean Discovery Day 2016 photos

View Ocean Discovery Day 2015 photos

View Ocean Discovery Day 2014 photos

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