From the Rivers to the Seas

Are you a sea dog or a river otter at heart? Either way, you’ll love this fish and invertebrate exhibit!

Florida’s rivers stretch more than 25,000 miles total and connect with waterbodies such as lakes, swamps, and of course, estuaries: where rivers meet the sea. Rivers’ fresh water mingles with coastal and tidal saltwater from the ocean, and that mix is called brackish water.

Guests will discover freshwater species of mosquitofish, topminnows, killifish, newts and more. You’ll even spot an unusual turtle — the gorgeously speckled diamondback terrapin — that inhabits brackish waters in marshes, coastal bays and lagoons.

You’ll also dip your toes (figuratively, anyway) into the world of coastal saltwater fishes, glimpsing species of grunt, grouper and a big, beautiful eel: the green moray.

Your first peek at the reef: On the salty side of this gallery, check out Florida’s Coral Reefs, the first live coral exhibit along your path. Look closely — you may spot more than a dozen coral species found on Florida reefs. The exhibit reveals how Mote Marine Laboratory scientists study corals, why coral reefs are struggling amid environmental changes, and how Mote scientists advance coral science and restoration to help bring them back from the brink.