Biscayne Bay Facilities

Aquarium Room

The "Aquarium Room" is our indoor wet lab facility, located on the ground floor of the Marine Science building. Seawater is supplied via a redundant well and filtration system and piped into the lab with multiple taps available to supply water at the turn of a valve. There is a 200-gallon reservoir of seawater that is filtered with a protein skimmer and ozonizer to supply high-quality seawater (suitable for coral and larval fish) for closed system work. The aquarium room consists of open floor space that allows flexible set up to meet individual needs, as well as some existing setups available for use. Existing setups are a tank rack system that can accommodate up to 20-gallon long sized fish tanks and a "coral rack".

The "coral rack" is a system of 24 individual 10-gallon size insulated tanks with the ability for individual temperature control. A chilled water loop provides chilled water to individually controlled heat exchangers to allow for precise chilling. If heating is needed, researcher-supplied heaters can readily be plugged into the available outlets on the back of the rack. Lighting is supplied by 4 bulb T-5 fluorescent fixtures, with each fixture covering a set of 3 tanks and on individual timers.


In addition to the marine science building's seawater capabilities, we also have an outdoor fish tank area called the "Mesocosms." The Mesocosms, located next to our boat ramp and dock, are part of the Coastal Conservation and Restoration Laboratory

Additional Facilities and Labs

Vehicles & Vessels

A fleet of small boats ranging from Airboats to a 26' Twin Vee are available from the Institute of Environment's Field Operations Center, which also provides a variety of vehicles suitable for transporting people, equipment and towing boats. In addition, the Aquarius Reef Base research vessels are used throughout the Upper Florida Keys. 

Boating Rules & Resources 

  • R/V Quackenbush¬†32' Power Catamaran

    The R/V Quackenbush, named for Dr. Quackenbush, is a 32' Catamaran powered by twin outboards. With a shallow draft, ample open deck space, and the stability of a catamaran hull, the R/V Quackenbush is an ideal platform for conducting classes and research in the shallow waters of Biscayne Bay. Based on the Biscayne Bay Campus, a variety of habitats can be reached within minutes from our dock.

    Sampling gear available for class use:

    • Otter Trawls, 10', 16' and a 20'. Size is based on width.
    • Plankton net, 100 micron
    • YSI Pro 2030 with conductivity, temperature and DO
    • Bottom grab, 110 in3
    • Secchi Disk
    • Fish Measuring Board
  • R/V Dewey Dewayne 34' Munton High Speed Landing Craft

    • Twin 250HP Mercury outboard engines
    • 24-student capacity
    • Ideal for shallow bay operation with the ability for limited near-shore ocean operations
    • Bow ramp for loading and unloading directly on a beach
    • Lobster boat-style davit and winch for lowering and retrieving gear
    • Boat charge: $250 per day, includes captain
  • 16' Carolina Skiff

  • 21' Mako

  • Southern Blowfish 21' Pro-line Sport (2006)