If you haven’t already, you’ll find that New Smyrna Beach residents take our wildlife conservation and protecting our coastal oasis very seriously. For nature enthusiasts who also value the protection and security of our local eco-systems, there are a host of New Smyrna Beach parks and preserves that act as refuge centers where animals are rehabilitated, offer educational programs and provide opportunities to view our amazing local species in their natural habitats. Here are just a few in case you are interested:
The Marine Discovery Center, located at 520 Barracuda Boulevard in New Smyrna Beach offers countless ways to immerse the public and a variety of volunteer programs. For over 20 years, the remarkable team at the Marine Discovery Center has provided interactive programming and educated guests about the fascinating biodiversity of the Indian River – which is 4,000 species strong and 156 miles long.
With 8,000 acres – 3,000 of which are dedicated to slash pine plantations, Deep Creek Preserve is one of the largest protected habitats in the region and home to a vast range of native Floridian animals that are currently endangered. Deep Creek Preserve offers wildlife viewing on its scenic trails by hike, by bike and by horseback and is located at 964 S. State Road 415 in New Smyrna Beach.
The Shark Park at 175 N. Causeway in New Smyrna Beach is known for its incredible collaboration with local wildlife preserves and groups to ensure the protection of our local sharks and to help eradicate misconceptions of these often misunderstood creatures through education. Always a family favorite, The Shark Park offers viewing, feeding and even shark tooth hunting expeditions for kids.