A research center specializing in the marine biodiversity and ecosystems of Florida. Research focuses on the Indian River Lagoon and the offshore waters of Florida's east central coast, with comparative studies throughout coastal Florida. The Station is a facility of the National Museum of Natural History, a part of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, and serves as a field station which draws up to 100 top scientists and students each year from the Smithsonian and collaborating institutions around the world. These scientists investigate the plants and animals in the ocean and Indian River Lagoon and the physical processes associated with these habitats. Information uncovered at the Marine Station is published in scientific journals and forms the basis for effective public policies, conservation efforts, sustainable resource management and enlightened development patterns.