If you are at all interested in the ecology of the Lowcountry, then a visit to the Port Royal Foundation’s Maritime Center is an absolute must. It is the “go to” place for information about the maritime culture of this area. It is dedicated to advancing awareness of the Port Royal Sound and its contributions to the environmental, cultural and economic well being of our area, the region and the Atlantic Ocean.
The Maritime Center has several exhibits that appeal to all ages. When you enter the main exhibit hall, the Predator Ceiling Diorama features a life-sized Megalodon jaw, a tiger shark, several varieties of rays, and a loggerhead sea turtle, all of which are local maritime animals.
There is a 3,000-gallon aquarium and touch tanks that are home to several local marine species. Here you will see a display and hear the story of the albino dolphin “Carolina Snowball” and her son “Sonny Boy”. Both once swam the waters of Port Royal Sound. There are rotating photography and art exhibits to remind visitors of the ever-present history and beauty of this area. The Center also holds lectures and workshops, story times for the little ones, and outdoor programs.
The Maritime Center is located between Bluffton and Beaufort at 310 Okatie Highway (US 170) at the south end of the Chechessee River Bridge. It is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission is free.
For more information, call (843) 645-7774.