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Bay Education Center is Fully Repaired and Reopened after Hurricane Harvey Damage

Bay Education Center is Fully Repaired and Reopened after Hurricane Harvey Damage
Opening May 8 is the Bay Education Center in Rockport,Texas. Credit: Eddie Seal

This May 8, 2021 the Bay Education Center, which is operated by the Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve, a program of the University of Texas Marine Science Institute, will reopen and showcase its new exhibits. Like many museums and nature centers on the Texas coast, the Bay Education Center was struck a double blow with Hurricane Harvey and then the pandemic. 

In Rockport, Texas, the Center's reopening will once again provide a venue for locals and tourists to experience the wonders of the natural environment and see the importance of estuaries to the Texas coastal communities and beyond. The Center was able to be repaired and reopened through a partnership with the Aransas County Navigation District. 

The Center is free of charge and will open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. with health and safety protocols. Health and safety protocols include mask requirements, social distancing and a COVID symptom screen.

The new exhibits join the Science on a Sphere global projection system to offer visitors insight and awe. Exhibits feature the different habitats found in local estuaries, marshes, oyster reefs, seagrass and even upland riparian habitat. There are interactive features where young learners can use pretend play and captain a vessel and other features that help visitors understand the importance that marshes play in erosion control. There will be something to learn for all age levels.

Special thanks for support and funding from Aransas County Navigation District, City of Rockport, Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve, National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (Continuing Appropriations Act, 2018 and Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Requirements Act, 2017) and The University of Texas Marine Science Institute. Gratitude also goes to contractors Teal Construction and Museum Arts for delivering a facility back to the community that is even better than it was before the storm and pandemic.

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Friday, 31 March 2023

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