UF IFAS has a long history in research, teaching and extension programs in the Nature Coast (Big Bend) region. These previous efforts have built a foundation on which the Nature Coast Biological Station (NCBS) will further develop the UF IFAS mission. Dr. Mike Allen, a professor of Fisheries and Aquatic Science whose research has focused on population dynamics and ecology of fishes, was appointed director of the NCBS. He is working to build the research, outreach, and teaching programs to improve conservation, management, and sustainability of natural resources in this region.

In 2015 the UF provost, IFAS, and Santa Fe College purchased a motel in Cedar Key, which was intended to provide better access to the Seahorse Key Marine Laboratory. IFAS is currently renovating the motel to also accommodate the NCBS. The renovated facility will fit into the historical character of Cedar Key and provide a research facility to support hard clam aquaculture, office space for the primary scientists of the station, and temporary office and accommodations for visiting scientists, graduate students, and technicians.

To learn more about the UF Nature Coast Biological Station and ongoing activities, visit their website.