The Nature Center at Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve (ANERR) has reopened in a limited capacity following impacts from Hurricane Michael in early October.
Immediately following the storm, ANERR staff began working to repair damage to the reserve’s aquariums, boardwalks and the bay overlook, and efforts are ongoing.
While ANERR’s Nature Center building was not severely damaged by Hurricane Michael the area below the building, that houses pumps and filtration systems to maintain the aquariums, was flooded by storm surge from Apalachicola Bay waters.
The storm surge displaced several large pieces of essential aquarium equipment, broke pipes, and shorted and corroded electrical components.
Due to these impacts, the aquariums in the nature center are currently inoperable as staff work to make repairs.
Thanks to the work of dedicated staff and the Florida Coastal Office Recovery Team, which includes staff from around the state who have experience rebuilding after storm damage, the reserve is on its way to full recovery.
Visitors are invited to view a new, temporary exhibit by Dr. Stan Kunigelis showcasing small crustaceans found in nearly every freshwater and saltwater habitat.