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Welcome to the Estuarium!!!
The following information will help you plan for your trip to the Estuarium and the Dauphin Island Sea Lab facilities. Please read all of the following information carefully, and feel free to contact our Registrar at (251) 861-2141 x7511 if you have any questions.
Included in this packet is educational information that you should give your students prior to their field trip. The Estuarium is approximately 40 miles south of Mobile on the extreme eastern end of Dauphin Island.

Tips for teachers....

Before your visit …
Teacher Planning Passes get you into the Estuarium free before your visit. With this brochure you will receive teacher planning pass. We encourage you to tour the Estuarium prior to your visit with your students so the only surprises you'll have will be good ones. Please review all curriculum material enclosed in this packet and remember to make additional copies for your students.

Payment Policies

In order to receive the group rate, payment should be made in one transaction for the entire group. Separate payments will not be given the group rate. Payment of your bill should be made upon arrival at the Estuarium Admissions desk.

Click here to download curriculum**

  • At least one supervising adult should be present for every five elementary students and one for every ten secondary students
  • Large groups should be divided into groups of 35 or less before
    entering the World of Water theater.
  • Each group must schedule in advance to receive the group rate.

    For reservations, please call (251) 861-2141 x7511
Payment Policies:
  • A payment of your bill should be made before your departure. You may pay your bill at the ticket booth located at the front of the Estuarium.
Foul Weather:
  • Remember to dress appropriately as you may be outside for a time. Activities are available outside the Estuarium for your enjoyment. Please keep in mind that bad weather may interfere with your group's activities outside the Estuarium.
Things to bring:
  • Copies of curriculum for each student, pencils, extra money for gift shop or snacks. Please DO NOT bring clipboards, as these can damage the tanks (a writing board and pencils will be provided).
Upon your arrival:
  •  Please make every effort to arrive at your appointed time. Each group of students (35 or less) will enter the Estuarium at the designated appointment time. We suggest you divide each class of students into smaller groups and assign a chaperone to be in charge of each "mini" group of students.
  • Busses may turn into the east drive in the parking lot beside the Estuarium to drop off students. After the students have been dropped off, the busses should cross Bienville Boulevard and park in the lot designated for school busses. There will be designated bus parking (look for signs). If you are not arriving by bus, please park in the Estuarium parking lot.
Rules to follow:
  • Food and drink are not allowed inside the Estuarium (this includes gum).
  • No running, climbing, horseplay, shouting or tapping on glass. These activities may disturb the animals.
  • For safety purposes, students are not allowed to touch any animals or put their hands into the exhibits, unless instructed otherwise. Name tags for students are a good idea. However, for the safety of our animals, we ask that you attach tags with adhesive or string.
  • Students must stay with their chaperones for the duration of their visit to the Sea Lab.
  • The Dauphin Island Sea Lab is a smoke-free campus.
Gift Shop:
  • A gift shop is located in the Estuarium. Students must be accompanied by a chaperone to enter the gift shop.

Estuarium Overview

The Estuarium is designed to inform and instruct guests about modern science and technology. It depicts animal life and ecosystems around Mobile Bay from the freshwater Delta to the Gulf of Mexico. The four exhibit galleries include the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta, Mobile Bay, Barrier Islands and the Gulf of Mexico. Following is a synopsis of each gallery and a glossary of terms. Additionally, we have provided a curriculum to enhance your students' experience within each habitat.

On campus activities for your students:
Miss MayMay: Climb aboard the Miss MayMay -- an open vessel on land for your students to explore! This activity will provide a hands-on look at navigation, personal floatation devices (PFD), marine debris information, and the natural resources of Mobile Bay (oysters and shrimp). There are oyster tongs to try, and a shrimp net to crawl through, complete with a KED - kid excluder device.

The Boardwalk: Spend time viewing the Living Marsh! On the north side of the parking lot there is a boardwalk that will take you through a salt marsh. Be sure to read the panels that will help you identify grasses and wildlife common to this area.

Mr. Sand: Now along with the Boardwalk, students may participate in the adventures of a sand grain! The cartoon character, Mr. Sand, tells the story of the evolution and dynamics of barrier islands in an attractive manner to children of all ages.

The Beach: If you would like to take your students to the beach, please use the boardwalks provided on the south end of campus, near Discovery Hall. Just west of the Sea Lab property are cottages owned by the Coast Guard recreational facility. Please do not let your students enter this area.

Sea Pines Trail: After Hurricane Frederic struck in 1979, a small maritime forest developed behind the Sea Lab. A trail with signs labeling local plants is available to visitors. This experience is particularly oriented to younger groups.


Learn the secrets of our Estuarium program and how you can use it to gain the most from your visit. Obtain activities that you can do before during and after your visit. Relax and enjoy as you become familiar with our
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