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by Amber Autumn
November 20, 2010
Almost near Fort Gaines and further up Bienville Blvd. is the Estuarium, the public aquarium of the Dauphin Island Sea Lab. The Sea Lab is the marine education and research center, and provides a large exhibit of "sea life". The Estuarium is also kid-friendly with activities and places for the children to play. One of the places for the kids is Miss May May, a red boat in front of the building. Inside, children can see how tall they are (and if they're the same size as a fish or a heron), play in another boat, and arrange foam sea creatures to see where they actually belong. The Estuarium starts out with a movie that shows the "watery world of Alabama". It then branches off into sections called the Mobile Delta, the Mobile Bay, Barrier Island, Ocean Today, the Gulf of Mexico, and finally the Weather Center. The Mobile Delta and Bay explain the geology of Mobile, and its sea level that migrated fifty miles out. There's also a watery habitat where you can see fish and turtles up close. The turtles are really friendly, and swim right up to the top of the tank. Moving through the Bay, you can "gently" play with bones of catfish, starfish, and other sea life. Next, the Barrier Island shows how important the barrier islands are by blocking hurricanes, and how Hurricane Katrina (2005) practically cut the island in half. That part of Dauphin Island was more than 110 kilometers east of the region where the eye of Katrina came ashore. After that, the Ocean Today and Gulf of Mexico are very interesting because you can see hermit crabs, blue crabs, stingrays, octopusses, and other indigenous animals of the Gulf of Mexico. You can even pet a mystery marine animal (except when they're napping because then they're covered up). There's also a gift shop in the Estuarium, but it's kind of pricy. Children's t-shirts are seventeen dollars, and the adult t-shirts are two or three dollars more. Besides t-shirts, there's candies, books, jewelry, home decor, fish ornaments, and so much more.
From journal Discovering Dauphin Island
Poplar Bluff, Missouri
July 6, 2007
From journal Dauphin Island Alabama - a bit of true southern hospitality