PONCE INLET, Fla. – A new bird habitat exhibit is coming to the Marine Science Center after the Volusia County Council approved the plans Tuesday morning.
The 650-sqaure-foot exhibit will be home to six of the center’s raptor ambassadors, according to a news release. These ambassadors are birds being cared for in the facility that are not suitable for release because of injury.
The Marine Science Center showcases marine life and environmental awareness. It also serves as a rehabilitation hospital for shorebirds and sea turtles.
The new raptor education and conservation exhibit is meant to show bird encounters as being entertaining, engaging and educational while spreading a message of habitat protection and conservation, according to the news release.
It will be adjacent to the elevated boardwalk, and it will include a covered, pedestrian viewing of the area with features such as educational signage and interactive touch-screen information stations.
“Staff at the MSC continues to focus on improving educational opportunities to teach the public about Volusia County’s conservation efforts and how visitors can take these messages home and help lessen human impacts in their area,” officials wrote in a grant application to the county’s ECHO program.
The ECHO program helps finance environmental, cultural, historic and outdoor recreation facilities. The program is helping fund the bird habitat.
The current exhibit area will be repurposed to expand the center’s space devoted to treating injured birds. This space will be for birds going through rehabilitation and healing processes while being prepared for release.
On average, the Marine Science Center admits more than 1,100 birds per year for rehab, and the center’s seabird rehab facility has treated more than 19,000 birds, according to the release.