Excursions and Talks

The Estuarium at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab hosts a number of events for the public. The free, twice-monthly Boardwalk Talk program offers the public a chance to engage with the experts at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab on science topics as wide-ranging as climate change, habitat restoration, hypoxia, sea-level change, salt marshes, oyster reefs, sharks, and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

The Excursion program takes visitors into the habitats studied by our marine scientists, researchers, and students at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab.

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 air live on the DISL YouTube Channel

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.

Salt Marsh Excursions

Upcoming 2021 Dates: 
Thursday, September 9, 9:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
Wednesday, September 22, 9:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
Thursday, October 28, 9:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Location:  Meet at the Estuarium

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 

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. 

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

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.

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

Beach, Dune, and Maritime Forest Excursion

Upcoming 2021 Dates:  
Thursday, September 16, 9:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
Thursday, September 30, 9:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
Tuesday, October 5, 9:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Location:  Meet at the Estuarium
Reservation Form 

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.
 

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

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.


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

RV Alabama Discovery Excursion

Upcoming 2021 Dates:
Sunday, September 12, 2:45 to 5 p.m.
Friday, September 24, 9:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
Thursday, October 7, 2:45 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Friday, October 15, 2:45 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Friday, October 22, 2:45 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Location: Meet at the Estuarium
Reservation Form 

Join a professional Dauphin Island Sea Lab Educator for a two-hour boat trip in the waters surrounding Dauphin Island, where you’ll learn how estuaries such as Mobile Bay feed the seas. Mobile Bay is a thriving nursery ground that supports a vast array of animals. A short trawl will produce a sampling of some of these animals for you to examine, and a plankton tow will give you a look at the microscopic organisms at the base of the food chain. Other kinds of wildlife, including pelicans, gulls, dolphins, and sharks, can often be seen from the boat.  
The minimum age for participation is 8. Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

Tickets: 

  • $30 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 after submitting the reservation form. This program is limited to 25 participants (based on Covid distancing guidelines, and subject to change). A minimum number of tickets must sell before the scheduled Boat Excursion for the trip to run.
  • Children 18 and under must be accompanied by an adult who is responsible for their supervision and safety. 

What to wear: Proper footwear is required for your safety. Wear closed-toe, closed-heel shoes. Please note that you will not be allowed to board the vessel without proper footwear. Layers are advised for variable weather conditions.
 
What to bring:  Hat, sunscreen, water bottle, binoculars, snack, camera, your curiosity, and your mask

As a protective measure against COVID, all participants 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.
 
For questions, reservations, and inquiries about private tours: E-mail summerexcursions@disl.org or call (251) 861-2141 ext. 2127. 
 
DISL reserves the right to cancel in case of inclement weather or if there is insufficient participation.

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