The Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation Marine Laboratory at Tarpon Bay is adjacent to the Pine Island Sound Aquatic Preserve and is located within the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, one of a few designated marine wilderness areas in the United States. Our research scientists have year-round access to freshwater wetlands, the Caloosahatchee River and Estuary, San Carlos Bay, Pine Island Sound, and the Gulf of Mexico to determine the influences of natural disturbances and the effects of people on estuaries and coastal ecosystems. The SCCF Marine Lab provides an outdoor laboratory for researchers, students, and the general public.
The Marine Laboratory is funded through private donations, and local, state, and federal granting agencies. The laboratory currently has six full-time staff members, two of which are Ph.D. research scientists.
The majority of the research conducted at the laboratory is conducted in collaboration with scientists in academia, local governments, and state agencies. These partners in research include the City of Sanibel, Florida Wildlife Research Institute, Florida Gulf Coast University, Lee County, Mote Marine Laboratory, and the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge.
The current 2,800 sq.ft. laboratory is located on J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, in the Tarpon Bay Recreation Area. The facility is ‘on the bay’ and less than a 1.5 miles from SCCF’s Nature Center.
The SCCF Marine Laboratory is a member of the National Association of Marine Laboratories (NAML and SAML, Southern Association of Marine Laboratories), a nonprofit organization of over 120 labs who provide diverse educational and research experiences. The SCCF Marine Lab is also a member of the Organization of Biological Field Stations (OBFS) since 2003. The Lab joined the Florida Institute of Oceanography (FIO) in 2012 and is a member of the FIO Advisory Council, made up of individuals from the Florida State University System and other Florida marine centers.