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In addition to developing permanent exhibits with zoos/aquariums/museums, we now offer the Reef on the Road traveling exhibit that can stand alone or be incorporated into existing displays.

Reef on the Road exhibit on display in a conference exhibit hall
The Reef on the Road exhibit was Best of Show when it premiered in the exhibit hall at the 2014 AZA Conference. Image: FGBNMS/Drinnen

Reef on the Road delivers messages of underwater beauty and diversity, as well as reasons for action to conserve our fragile ocean planet.

Funding for the development of this exhibit was provided through the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation.

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Reef on the Road is available to host venues such as zoos, aquariums, museums, and libraries, for 6, 9 or 12 months at a time.

We are currently looking for host sites for 2019 and beyond.

The exhibit consists of three stand alone units that telescope to 10 feet tall, each with a video display on one side and an interactive element on the other.

Bright Spot in the Gulf

Bright Spot in the Gulf, side 1 of Unit 1 in the traveling exhibit

Side 1 of the exhibit introduces guests to Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, a unique location off the coast of Texas. It includes basic information about the sanctuary and a looping video of sanctuary highlights such as manta rays, spawning corals, and brightly colored reef creatures.

Teeming with Life

Teeming with Life, side 2 of Unit 1 in the traveling exhibit

Side 2 of the exhibit highlights the diversity of wildlife in the sanctuary, including some species seldom found elsewhere. An interactive roller barrel provides fun facts about fish and invertebrates of the sanctuary. A model of a Scalloped Hammerhead Shark hangs overhead.

Flourishing But Fragile

Flourishing But Fragile, side 1 of Unit 2 in the traveling exhibit

Side 3 focuses on the fact that sanctuary reefs are healthy, but surrounded by a variety of threats. A looping slide show addresses issues of how the reefs fit into the overall gulf ecosystem and issues that may affect them, such as invasive species, anchoring, shipping, and oil/gas production.

We All Live Upstream

We All Live Upstream, side 2 of Unit 2 in the traveling exhibit

Side 4 helps visitors understand the impact they may be having on the ocean through their use of water. An interactive map lets people light up the three major watersheds of the U.S. to see which part of the ocean they affect most immediately.

Next Generations

Next Generations, side 1 of Unit 3 in the traveling exhibit

Side 5 features the annual mass coral spawning that takes place in the sanctuary. High definition video footage brings to life the underwater snowstorm that occurs for several nights every August. Fun facts highlight other creatures that spawn at about the same time each year.

Cruising Through

Cruising Through, side 2 of Unit 3 in the traveling exhibit

Side 6 highlights the large species that spend all or part of their lives in the sanctuary--sharks, rays and sea turtles. A flip-book interactive shows visitors part of the sanctuary's Manta Catalog and invites them to identify the Manta Ray pictured above. Also included are facts about mantas, stingrays and acoustic tracking data.

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Exhibit Specifications

Images from Exhibit Host Sites

Reef On The Road Handout (307kb pdf)

If you have questions or are interested in bringing this exhibit to your facility, please contact

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National Marine Sanctuary logo - a stylized whale tail above waves