Scheduled to launch early next year, the Miami Science Barge may be the coolest thing to happen to the city since, well, Wynwood. A floating laboratory slash classroom, the idea originated with CappSci's Ted Caplow, who created a similar barge in NYC.
Now, Miami's version of the innovative experiment has officially found its future home: Museum Park. The CappSci team announced this week that the Bayfront Park Management Trust Board unanimously approved the Science Barge's addition to the area.
"With all the excitement around Museum Park and the revitalization of downtown Miami, we have considered Museum Park our number one choice for the program from the start," says Nathalie Manzano-Smith, Director of Innovation for CappSci. "Tim Schmand, Executive Director of the Bayfront Park Management Trust and Commissioner Frank Carrollo, Chair of Bayfront Park Management Trust, have been very supportive and champions of the Miami Science Barge since the concept was introduced to them. They provided our team the opportunity to present to the Bayfront Park Management Trust Board and during the group’s June meeting, they unanimously approved the lease for Miami Science Barge to dock in Museum Park."
Back in April, the barge won $298,633 in the Knights Cities Challenge,
In essence, the Miami Science Barge is a floating marine lab and environmental education center, all designed to promote a more sustainable South Florida. The barge will collect data on the local ecosystem, help lead research on developing a sustainable food supply and teach the public—and students—about the importance of the marine environment. As far as activities, it will host oyster growth with cages, water sampling, a remote-controlled live steam underwater camera.
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While it's similar to its New York sibling, the Miami version will not have a greenhouse (though it will grow some plants and herbs using aquaponics). Instead, the space will be used for aquatic tanks containing mahi-mahi, mangroves, coral, seagrass habitat with seahorses, and more.
In addition to school-age students being able to attend guided field trips through the barge, the general public will also be able to access it for tours and workshops.
"Museum Park is a burgeoning cultural center in downtown Miami and offers Miami Science Barge visitors easy access via public transportation," adds Manzano-Smith. "The notch in the park sits where Miami’s urban core overlaps the natural environment, representing the 21st-century viewpoint the Miami Science Barge takes on sustainability."