Manatee Observation and Education Center
Explore, Educate and Inspire
Many people, even some of our own employees, wonder why FPUA is in the manatee business. FPUA’s connection to the Manatee Observation and Education Center (MOEC) serves to strengthen our commitment to environmental stewardship, showcasing the importance of conserving our most important and treasured natural resources – our waterways and its inhabitants, including the Florida manatee.
MOEC opened its doors in 1996 as St. Lucie County’s first not-for-profit, environmental education center with a grant from the Florida Inland Navigational District. MOEC served as the cornerstone of Fort Pierce’s revitalization with support from Main Street Fort Pierce, City of Fort Pierce, FPUA, business and community leaders. Located on the nationally recognized Indian River Lagoon and Moore’s Creek, a freshwater tributary, MOEC welcomes over 35,000 visitors each year, including 5,000 children.
Outside, the Walkway and Wildlife Observation Tower provide visitors the opportunity to view manatee in their native habitat. Inside, docents immerse visitors into the world of marine wildlife, coastal vegetation and habitats of the lagoon through hands-on programming and colorful exhibits. Conservation programs, camps, kayaking trips and eco-boat tours further connect visitors to our environment. MOEC takes its environmental show on the road to schools, special groups, and local events, strengthening our understanding of how life on land connects to the water.
Through volunteer initiatives, citizen involvement, community, business and governmental partnerships, both MOEC and FPUA are committed to conservation efforts by educating and promoting the importance of environmental stewardship.