Sea Center Texas (SCT) greeted its millionth visitor earlier this month, Jacob Thomas, a seven year old of Houston, reported Texas Parks and Wildlife.
The surprised youngster received several prizes including a lifetime fishing license donated by The Dow Chemical Company, a lifetime membership to the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA), a customized rod and reel donated by John Regnier, and other gifts donated by the Brazosport Convention & Visitors Council and Sea Center Texas.
Sea Center Texas was established through a partnership with The Dow Chemical Company, the Coastal Conservation Association, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
SCT opened its marine aquarium and education center in March 1996 and the fish hatchery produced its first juvenile fish to stock in public waters in June 1997.
The facility is operated by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) and admission is free. In addition to TPWD staff, more than 100 volunteers conduct tours, interact with guests at the “touch” tank, greet visitors, and serve as cashiers in the gift shop.
Guests to SCT are treated to one of the best native marine fish displays in Texas.
The center offers a variety of educational programs that promote the wise use and conservation of Texas’ marine resources.
The center’s wetland area is part of the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail. Over 150 species of birds have been identified at the site. The wetland consists of a one-acre salt marsh and a three-acre freshwater marsh. Damselflies, dragonflies, butterflies and frogs
are frequently seen just off the boardwalk. A small outdoor pavilion provides a quiet resting or lunch spot adjacent to the butterfly and hummingbird gardens.
Wednesdays and Fridays at 10:30 a.m., guests have the opportunity to view the aquarium feedings.
About 20 percent of SCT’s million-plus visitors have toured the site’s fish hatchery. The saltwater hatchery has produced some 200 million red drum and 25 million spotted seatrout.
The center is one of three saltwater fish hatcheries operated by TPWD that as a group release more than 25 million juvenile fish each year to supplement natural fish populations and enhance fishing opportunities along the Texas coast.
Visiting Sea Center Texas
Sea Center Texas is a marine aquarium, fish hatchery, and nature center operated by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD).
Phone: (979) 292-0100
Hours of operation: Tuesday to Saturday 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sunday 1–4 p.m.; closed Monday.
Location: Lake Jackson, off Highway 288 at 300 Medical Drive. Lake Jackson is about 50 miles south of Houston and 45 miles southwest of Galveston.
Driving Directions: To view map and driving directions, click here.
I come to the Sea to Breathe.
—Mary Anne Radmacher-Hershey