The Dolphin Research Center, located in the Florida Keys, was established in the year 1984 as a nonprofit organization by Armando Rodriguez and Jayne Shannon-Rodriguez.

The goal of these two individuals was to make sure the dolphins at the center would have a home there for life. In doing so, they also established a unique research and education facility.

The California Sea Lions and Bottlenose Dolphins that currently call the Dolphin Research Center home offer an array of of backgrounds and personalities. More than half of the animals that live at the center were born there. The other creatures that call the facility home were rescued or came from other similar facilities. Those that were rescued were rehabilitated and considered unreleasable, leading to the Dolphin Research Center becoming their forever home.

Through rescue, research, and education, the Dolphin Research Center in Grassy Key promotes communication, cooperation, and peaceful coexistence between humans and marine life, as well as the marine environments that they share. Throughout the Dolphin Research Center’s long history, the facility has long been a pioneering force in the education of these amazing marine mammals, as well as sharing this information with the rest of the world.

The Dolphin Research Center may be situated on a rather small island, but its knowledge and reputation reach across the entire world. The facility takes pride in being a leading center in the field of care for marine mammals, as well as education and research. The Dolphin Research Center has been providing visitors throughout the world with knowledge about these marine animals from the forefront, and has developed educational programs for locals and visitors alike to better experience the center’s resident dolphins in a variety of ways.

Guests can spend anywhere from an hour to an entire day with the family of the Dolphin Research Center. Whether visitors come to the Dolphin Research Center for just General Admission to get a look up-close at the sea lions and dolphins during their behavior session, or decide to take part in a fun interactive animal program like swimming with the dolphins, they are sure to have a fun-filled, amazing time at the center. During a visit to the facility, children can cool down from the heat at the Dolphin Research Center’s family sprayground. Parents can watch their kids frolic through streams and jets of water, as well as activate various recordings of whale, manatee, and dolphin sounds.

Visitors can also sit and relax, taking a break from the Florida sun, as they watch a film in the Dolphin Theater at the Dolphin Research Center. Guests can enjoy the cool air conditioning as they learn about the mysteries of the marine animals that call the center home. The theater features an ever-changing variety of interesting videos and presentations.

Another feature of the Dolphin Research Center is its Veterans Garden, which was brought to life at the center in 1999. The garden is a result of four veterans from the Vietnam War who had participated in a program designed by the center for them to help with their Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This program formed a foundation for several other programs for the military.

58901 Overseas Highway, Grassy Key, Florida, Phone: 305-289-0002, website, Map

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