Meet Martin County’s Caretakers of Mother Nature

March 29, 2023 | Read Time: 3 minutes

martin county waterway manatee

Filled with year-round sunshine, lush parks, and plentiful waterways, Florida celebrates its natural surroundings. Yet no region of the state boasts as many ecological jewels as Martin County on the Treasure Coast. Not only is the area home to the most bio-diverse lagoon ecosystem in the entire Northern Hemisphere, but thousands of acres of Instagram-worthy parks and conservation lands provide adventures every day. With so many natural wonders nearby, numerous local organizations are stepping up to educate and inspire the next generation of environmental stewards. Let’s take a closer look.

aerial of the Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center

Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center

Get an up-close and personal look at marine life on Hutchinson Island at the 57-acre Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center. Home to the non-profit Florida Oceanographic Society, the organization’s mission is to inspire environmental stewardship of the coastal ecosystem. The passion at its heart, however, is the camaraderie of over 250 volunteers. Citizen scientists can help monitor and collect data on mangrove swamps, oyster and seagrass beds, coral, worm reefs, and more than 4,300 species of plants and animals, including 36 rare and endangered species. Families and groups can take part in dozens of adventurous activities like helping protect sea turtles or rebuilding seagrass, while the media-minded can spread the word and share the messaging on social media and at public events.

Hobe Sound Nature Center exterior

Hobe Sound Nature Center

People of all ages and abilities enjoy interactive environmental education at the Hobe Sound Nature Center. Free, family-friendly programs include Night Explorers, Beach Dynamics, and weekly hikes along the trails. All-terrain wheelchairs are available for people with mobility issues. From May to mid-July, nighttime sea turtle walks at a public beach allow visitors to witness the rare spectacle of loggerhead sea turtles laying their eggs. Whether the wildlife presentations and nature experiences are on- or off-site, expert lecturers help understand the mysteries of the world. Reservations are required, and programs fill up fast. Come nature-curious and leave an educated environmental advocate with a host of new like-minded friends.

Florida Mangroves

Environmental Studies Center

Located in Jensen Beach, the Martin County School District operates the Environmental Studies Center, which offers classes and hands-on field adventures for every grade. Students get out and active as they explore the exotic Indian River Lagoon, pristine beaches, mangrove forests, freshwater ponds, and protected wetlands. Age-appropriate fun starts in kindergarten, where students compare the characteristics and habitats of various sea turtles and tortoises. A chaperoned visit to protected turtle nests on a local beach cinches the excitement. High school students collect data that compares diverse communities from the beach, dune, and rocky shorelines to mangrove and grass flats. Naturally, there are summer camp experiences that are unmatchable for creating future environmentalists.

A New Chapter in Preserving Martin County’s Ecosystems

These local organizations are just the beginning of preservation efforts Martin County residents will continue to see. Protecting these green spaces and creating new clean water initiatives are two central components of Storie, an innovative new community concept on tap for Martin County’s future. Storie is a vision that has yet to be unveiled, but the designers are placing a high priority on creating a vibrant village center, parks, educational opportunities, and plentiful outdoor activities for all Martin County residents to enjoy. To receive a copy of the Storie Time magazine with more details on the vision for this community, or to be among the first to see the vision video upon its release, register your interest at

Storie Magazine Cover


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