Seawater & Wet Labs


The Keys Marine Laboratory offers a state-of-the-art Well Seawater System with the ability to control temperature and manipulate pH in a variety of flow-through tanks and tables. Water from the well is circulated through a degassing tower and sand filtration system, to four 1700-gallon holding tanks. Seawater tanks and tables range from 45-gal to 1000-gal. System effluent is UV-sterilized before returning to Florida Bay.

The Bay Seawater System is currently closed for major upgrades and renovations. Estimated project completion of Spring 2021 Check out our Facebook page for updates on the project.    

Please contact us with any questions you may have about the laboratory seawater system, tank configurations, and pricing. See FORMS page for Seawater Use Request Form (SURF) in addition to submitting your  Facility Use Request Form (FURF) to reserve space. 

Well Seawater System

A state of the art well-based sea water system allows for manipulations of water quality and in particular, simulating thermal and pH changes, as projected to occur in tropical and sub-tropical systems while simulating present and past conditions.

The intellectual merit of the system is the result of the interplay between the ability to conduct field work and laboratory experiments on site at KML rather than transport specimens back to the home laboratory, placing the specimens at risk of loss. Because of the inclusion of large volume tanks, ecosystem research can be conducted with side by side mesocosm experiments at the same time. The design allows research to be conducted applying the best practices and protocols providing publishable results that can be compared to similar research completed elsewhere. Water can be distributed from our 1700 gallon tanks to any combination of 20 experimental tables in 4 combinations of pH and temperature. Experimental tanks range from 40 gallons to 750 gallons and provide replicate tanks to accommodate research design.

The system is maintained and managed by an onsite KML science staff member with two scientists as backup. In this way, there is 24/7 coverage for the system and can be attended to at any time to insure experimental integrity. The new system provides a basis for research on tropical and sub-tropical species and systems with results that can be compared with research conducted elsewhere. Effluent is sterilized via UV before being discharged back into the ocean.

Bay Seawater System and Wetlab

The Baywater system, Wetlab Pavilion, and The Shallows are temporarily closed for a NSF funded infrastructure improvement project currently underway at KML. Expected reopening spring 2021. Check here for more information.