This past Friday, RCSE had Cathy Sakas from Tybee Island Marine Science Center presented to the club.  
The new Tybee Island Marine Science Center has been in the making for 15 years.  It is located on two acres at the North end of the North parking lot.  It was designed to flow from the lighthouse to the beach.  The colors were selected in order to fit in with the dunes and the sand.  They use rainwater for landscaping and used locally sourced sustainable timber in the construction.  They are following LEED protocols and have installed solar panels to help with electricity.  Currently, the center is opened Thursday-Sunday and the cost of admission is $10 per person with children 4 and under able to go for free.  
The new center has many exhibits that were funded due to foundation giving.  Some of those exhibits include a Sea Table Touch Tank and Critter Cam, Sea Turtles, and exhibits that honor the Gullah's, the Native American's, and sailors.  Cathy has served as the campaign co-chair to raise funds for the new center.  Over 67% of the fundraising goal has been achieved.  They have used the slogan "Bringing the Outside In" in their fundraising efforts.  One fundraising idea centered around Addy the Sea Turtle and helping move her from the old facility to the new one.  For every $10 donated, Addy gets to move one foot!  88% of the operating funds for the facility are generated though admissions and program fees.  They also rely on the gift shop for discretionary funds.  
Cathy concluded her presentation by talking about Sidewalks to the Sea.  It is a program for 1st-6th grade students at inner-city schools.  Even though these children live so close to the beach, they never get to see it.  Since its inception, Sidewalk to the Sea has helped 3500 students per year see the beach that is only 12 miles from their home.  To learn more about Tybee Island Marine Science Center, please visit  To learn more about fundraising efforts for the center, please visit