Public Aquarium


 

The public Aquarium is an exciting educational venue highlighting the four key habitats of coastal Alabama: the Mobile Tensaw River Delta, Mobile Bay, the Barrier Islands, and the Northern Gulf of Mexico. It includes the 10,000 square foot Exhibit Hall, a 7,000-gallon stingray touch pool, and the Living Marsh Boardwalk. This facility has 31 aquariums totaling over 30,000 gallons with more than 100 species on display. The Aquarium showcases the plants, animals, and other natural resources found in the estuary and its surrounding marine habitats.

Through beautiful visual exhibits and engaging interactive exhibits, the aquarium will leave you with a broader understanding of the interactions that take place in Mobile Bay, the fourth largest estuary system in the United States.

Temporary Hours
Monday through Sunday
11:00 am to 4:00 pm
*Tickets purchased online good until 12/31/2020

BEFORE YOU VISIT, WHAT TO KNOW

*All visitors are required to wear a mask when touring the Aquarium. The CDC recommendation is for 2 years old and up to wear a mask.

*Visitors will need to purchase tickets prior to arriving. Click here to purchase tickets. Tickets purchased online are good until 12/31/2020.

*Some exhibits are adjusted to allow for minimal contact when touring the aquarium.

*Watch the video for more information on what to know before you visit. 

ADMISSION

Adult $12.00
Children (5-18) or Students with ID $6.00
Seniors $10.00

Ask about military and AAA discounts.

For more information, you can always call 251-861-7500.

*Children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult.

Group rates available by reservation with at least 48 hours notice. To schedule, contact Amy Hannah at  251-861-2141 x7070 or fill out the online reservation form.

The Aquarium is closed on the following days:

  • Easter Sunday
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Eve Day
  • Christmas Day
  • New Year's Eve Day
  • New Year's Day

Pet Policy: No pets are allowed in the DISL Estuarium. However, in accordance with the American with Disabilities Act and Alabama law, a service dog that is trained to perform tasks or do work for a person with a disability will be allowed to enter.

Shirts and shoes required.  No bikini tops. No open containers allowed.

Boardwalk Talks

The Boardwalk Talk series is a free, public program on the first and third Wednesdays of the month, at 11:15 a.m. Currently, Boardwalk Talks are scheduled virtually and shared on Facebook Live at facebook.com/disealabestuarium.

Talks give you a chance to participate in a dialog with the experts, including researchers, graduate students, post-docs, educators, aquarists, and technicians. These informal chats encompass a broad range of science topics.

Check out our Boardwalk Talk library on the Dauphin Island Sea Lab YouTube channel.

Summer Excursions

Fun for the whole family!

For All Ages (Children 18 and under must be accompanied by an adult)
Program Cost:  $12 per person. Space is limited, and reservations are required. Please note that your reservation will not be secure until you purchase your tickets through a link you will receive by email using a code provided in the same email.

Reservation Form 

Time and location:  9:45-12:15, meet at the Estuarium
For questions and reservations: E-mail summerexcursions@disl.org or call (251) 861-2141 ext. 2127.

As a protective measure against COVID, all participants two years and older are required to wear a mask. Please ensure that each person in your party comes prepared with a suitable mask. Please conduct a health assessment on everyone in your party before leaving home on the morning of the Excursion. If anyone is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, please cancel by phone, and we will issue a full refund. Everyone will be screened for symptoms upon arrival. We will not take a party if anyone in the group is symptomatic, but we will issue full refunds. Please help us safeguard everyone's health.

SALT MARSH SUMMER EXCURSION

2020 Dates: June 11, July 2, July 16, July 23, July 30, August 6, August 13, August 29, September 3, September 11, September 15, and September 22

DISL reserves the right to cancel in case of inclement weather or if there is insufficient participation.

Salt marshes are not monotonous expanses of grass; they’re fascinating coastal wetlands that are critical to our estuary system. Be a marine scientist for a day, and use seine nets, buckets, shovels, and sieve boxes to collect samples, including crabs, snails, and fish (we’ll release animals back to the marsh). You’ll learn about the important role salt marshes play in the Gulf of Mexico and how they support the seafood we enjoy.

After meeting at the Estuarium, you will travel to the Dauphin Island salt marsh to explore this vital ecosystem. Please be advised that you will get wet and muddy, so you may wish to prepare your vehicle accordingly.

What to wear:  Proper footwear is very important for your safety and enjoyment. Because of sharp oyster shells, participants are advised to wear closed-toe shoes that tie or strap on, such as old tennis shoes. Please no flip-flops, Crocs or rubber boots as they get ‘eaten’ by the marsh mud. Wear clothes that can get wet and muddy. Showers and changing facilities will be available after the marsh trip.

What to bring:  hat, sunscreen, water bottle, change of clothes and shoes, bag for muddy items

BEACH DUNE AND MARITIME FOREST EXCURSION

2020:  June 2, June 18, June 24, July 7, and October 1

DISL reserves the right to cancel in case of inclement weather or if there is insufficient participation. 

There’s more to a barrier island than sand and water – the beach is a thriving habitat with a dynamic dune system and fascinating plants and animals, and higher elevations are covered by lush forest. We’ll walk through the maritime forest, then on to the dunes and beach.

You will learn about plants that Indians and colonists used and the benefits of an intact dune system. You’ll see many coastal animals; occasional highlights include osprey, alligators, and dolphins. You’ll dig for mole crabs that live in the surf zone and chase scuttling ghost crabs. We’ll bring hand nets and critter containers so we can get an up-close look.

What to wear:  Comfortable walking shoes for the beach and forest. Light-weight clothes for hot summer temperatures. If you’re eager to get wet, feel free to dress accordingly, though getting wet can be avoided.  

What to bring:  hat, sunscreen, water bottle, bug spray, change of clothes and shoes, bag for wet items
 

Rays of the Bay Webcam

Our Rays of the Bay exhibit currently features three species of rays: Atlantic Stingray, Bluntnose Stingray, and Cownose Stingray. Sharing the tank with our rays are Atlantic Horseshoe Crabs, White Mullet, and Florida Pompano.

Camera Image

Mobile Bay Webcam

Our Mobile Bay webcam gives you a live look at the large tank in our Mobile Bay exhibit inside the aquarium. The exhibit area features drum, pipefish, the diamondback terrapin, and more species who call Mobile Bay home. 

Camera Image

Dauphin Island Weather

Click a link below to view the current weather at Dauphin Island Sea Lab.

Curricula for School Groups

Estuarium Activity

Estuarium Activity Keys

Specific Activity Sheets

All documents are in Adobe Acrobat PDF format. 

Adobe Acrobat Reader is necessary to open and print these files.

Directions

From Interstate 10, take Exit 17A to Dauphin Island.  Once on the Island, take a left at the water tower; the Estuarium is 2 miles on the left. Parking is free.  The address is 102 Bienville Blvd. Dauphin Island, AL 36528.

You can also ride the Mobile Bay Ferry from Fort Morgan. See details and times here.

Want to Volunteer at the Estuarium?

For people who enjoy meeting a wide range of visitors, and who love to share their enthusiasm for the environment, the Estuarium provides a wonderful opportunity to get involved. Show eager students and visitors how ticklish horseshoe crabs are, talk to the public about important marine problems, guide school groups around exhibits, and much more. Volunteers will receive extensive training, numerous benefits, and the chance to meet and greet visitors from right down the street to across the country.

To become an Estuarium docent volunteer, contact Jamelle Roy at (251) 861-2141 x7545 or email: volunteer@disl.org

Download Volunteer Application

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