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 Summer 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 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.


2020: June 11, July 2, July 16, July 23, and July 30

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. 

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


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

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

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