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Marine Education Center

About Us


As the education and outreach arm of The University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, the MEC endeavors to enlighten the citizenry to produce a cadre of well informed and knowledgeable stewards of our coastal ecosystems.

The MEC encompasses 28,000 square feet in six major structures, all connected by outdoor walkways, trails, and the Bayhead Suspension Bridge.

Education yesterday, today and tomorrow

katrinaIn 2005, Hurricane Katrina destroyed the former home of the MEC, the J. L. Scott Marine Education Center and Aquarium in Biloxi. Rebuilding presented a unique opportunity to recast the experience the MEC team wanted participants to have. The focus was placed on maximizing the environment as the primary teaching tool.
reimaginedThe reimagined facility provides an beautiful coastal backdrop for participants to have fun, engaging STEM-focused immersive experiences. The 100-acre site features trails that guide visitors through different coastal habitats, outdoor and floating classrooms and a pedestrian suspension bridge. The buildings at the MEC are tucked into the environment and house public exhibits, laboratories and beautiful meeting spaces.
educationThe real beauty of the MEC is how well it is designed to perform its primary function: educating students and the public about Mississippi’s valuable and productive marine and coastal resources. Thousands of students, visitors and coastal residents visit the MEC to learn science-based information to help them be active stewards of the marine environment.

Contact Us

Marine Education Center
101 Sweet Bay Drive
Ocean Springs, MS 39564

GCRL - Cedar Point

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