Smithsonian Marine Station is part of the Smithsonian Institute and is a facility of the National Museum of Natural History. It draws scientists, students and post-doctoral fellows from various Smithsonian institutions and global collaborators to investigate plants, animals and physical processes in the ocean and Indian River Lagoon.
The institute occupies an 8000-square-foot facility that is situated strategically alongside the lagoon. This location gives researchers access to diverse habitats that include mangroves, salt marshes, seagrass beds, oyster reefs, as well as sand and mud flats. It is also at the edge of the Continental Shelf and the Florida Current, which is a component of the Gulf Stream System.