Tybee Island Marine Science Center facility features a Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary exhibit

Tybee Marine Science Center new building Grey's Reef Exhibit

Virtually experience the live-bottom reef of NOAA’S Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary.

There is a Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary exhibit at the Tybee Island Marine Science Center’s new facility that is the first of its kind in this region and features a virtual dive. So visitor can virtually experience the live-bottom reef and observe the underwater creatures – coming up close and personal with a loggerhead sea turtle.

Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary is 19 miles off of the coast of Georgia and it is one of 14 national marine sanctuaries and two national marine monuments that make up the National Marine Sanctuary System. Gray’s Reef spans about 22 square miles and it is currently the only protected natural reef area on the mid-continental shelf off the Georgia coast. The invertebrates (animals without backbones) provide food for many fishes that also shelter in the reef’s cracks and crevices, giving the habitat of Gray’s Reef the “live bottom” name.

Design of the multi-media gallery and touchscreen took about nine months.

The touchscreen multimedia gallery is interactive and offers the public a chance to learn about the reef migration of fish and other interesting highlights through a suite of 360° photos and videos that haven’t been presented to the public until now.

You’ll get to see a loggerhead sea turtle that swims right over the camera and later bumps into a nurse shark, an interactive living reef, and hear shrimp snapping and other noises via recordings from the hydrophones placed in Gray’s Reef. These are recordings with underwater microphones that let us hear what is out there.

Find more information about Gray’s Reef here.

Tybee Marine Science Center
Hours: Thursday-Sunday, 10AM-4PM. Last ticket sold at 3:30PM

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