News Releases

Discover Florida’s fish, wildlife at MarineQuest 2012

News Release

Friday, October 19, 2012

Media contact: Kevin Baxter, 727-896-8626

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI) welcomes the public to the 18th annual MarineQuest open house from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, October 27. At this free event, visitors of all ages can experience the fascinating world of science at FWRI headquarters, 100 8th Ave. S.E., in downtown St. Petersburg.

Held in conjunction with the second annual St. Petersburg Science Festival, MarineQuest offers more than 60 exhibits from FWRI and other government agencies and conservation groups.

MarineQuest 2012 features live fish and wildlife, including alligators, sharks and rays, and an alligator snapping turtle weighing in at over 100 pounds. FWRI biologists demonstrate how they rescue distressed manatees, tag fish and monitor red tide. Visitors can even catch a glimpse of the world-renowned “mystery eyeball,” found last week in Pompano Beach.

Several touch tanks provide up-close and personal interactions with critters from the Tampa Bay area as well as the Florida Keys. Visitors can try their hand at archery, courtesy of the Florida Youth Conservation Centers Network. Children can create wildlife origami and marine magnets and take part in the Japanese art of “gyotaku” – fish printing. MarineQuest also offers face painting and marine tattoos.

Informative presentations include a journey into Florida’s backyards to find carnivorous plants, a look at the effects of this summer’s Tropical Storm Debby on manatees and a glimpse at tarpon, the “silver kings” of the ocean. Visitors can also talk one-on-one with some of Florida’s top scientists and law enforcement officers throughout the event.

Free event parking is available at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg parking garage at the corner of 5th Ave. S. and 3rd St. S.

Sponsors include the Tampa Bay Times, the city of St. Petersburg and the University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

For more information about MarineQuest 2012, visit

FWC Facts:
Right whales give birth to a calf every 3 to 5 years on average.

Learn More at AskFWC