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The River Center

RC coverBy John Curtin Home Inspector
Content Approved and Protected

Much like traveling into a Prehistoric era, The Loxahatchee River Watershed meanders from as far north as Hobe Sound to south of Juno Beach, tying our tributaries and wide expanses of open water together in a gentle flow that mingles at times with the cerulean-tinted Atlantic Ocean. It is home to hundreds of creatures, both plentiful and rare, such as the manatee, the American alligator, and the wood stork. It is one of two rivers in the entire state of Florida to have earned the distinction as a National “Wild and Scenic River.”

RC entry time lineMore than 9 miles of the river is still in its original wild state, owned by the Public, and only sparsely dotted with the evidence of the hand of man. Birdwatchers, horticulturists, and fishermen alike can enjoy the river and its bountiful species. The Loxahatchee’s creeks and estuaries wind through the heart of Jupiter and Tequesta, providing a classroom, a playground, and an occupation for its residents. Stepping up to protect it is the Loxahatchee River District, working hand in hand with government agencies, educational institutions and through direct interactions with the public to reduce our negative impacts on the fragile ecosystem.


Take a tour of the watershed area, courtesy of the LRD website:

RC Kids field tripThe Loxahatchee River District

The Loxahatchee River District treats and recycles wastewater in northern Palm Beach County and southern Martin County, provides education and research about the entire ecosystem and even offers wildlife rescue and care, partnering with the Busch Wildlife Sanctuary. One of the highlights of their achievements is the Loxahatchee River Center, opened in August of 2008. The River Center, Jupiter’s local aquarium located at Burt Reynolds Park, hosts an interactive exhibits and programs that describe the ecosystem of the Loxahatchee River and its surrounding environments.

Our Rivers Natural Environment

RC interiorThe first thing that you will notice about the Loxahatchee River Center is the natural theme and immersive atmosphere, plus how well maintained the building is. A series of built-in and free standing aquariums house a multitude of fish and marine creatures from the smallest river creatures to some of the biggest ocean dwellers within its 6,000 gallons. Some of the tanks model aquatic trees and large plant systems that represent our local wetlands. If you call ahead, you can find out when the staff feeds the fish and get a first-hand look at maintaining such a delicate artificial ecosystem. The highlight of the aquariums is the fully interactive touch tank that people of all ages can enjoy, which usually features specimens such as sea urchins, sea cucumbers, conch and sea stars.

RC feding fish kidsAnother frequent favorite on the exhibit list is the large historical timeline as well as the shark wall; featuring information and statistics about the ocean’s greatest predator. There are also displays featuring how to prevent pollution of the river, how wastewater is treated and reclaimed to be used as irrigation throughout the town of Jupiter and Tequesta. The interior of the facility is rounded off with displays of our local animals and environments, a large meeting room with presentation facilities and a gift shop. With its proximity to the Loxahatchee the outside environments offer short walks to the rivers banks anda butterfly garden.

Field Trip Destination

RC meeting roomThe Loxahatchee River Center is a “Field Trip Destination” for our local schools and community groups and hosts hands on interactive education events almost daily and, in the summer, offers an educational camp experience which includes kayaking and field trips. On the first Friday of every month, at noon, The River Center hosts an adult oriented presentation by local naturalists. In “Season” it features “The Loxahatchee by Night” Campfire Series which is held in their outdoor “Chikee” and is finished off with s’mores around their campfire ring. For a full list of events be sure to visit their website

RC storeThe exhibits don’t require “too long” of a visit, so the Loxahatchee River Center is perfect for young children with limited attention spans, and you can easily complete the visit before or after nap time. They also host a weekly Story Time every Thursday at 9:30 a.m.. If you’re no longer dealing with diapers the Loxahatchee River Center makes a great pre-lunch date excursion with friends or out of town visitors, and you will still have time to hit the Jupiter Beach or the Jupiter Lighthouse!

RC back yardKnowledgeable Staff

The knowledgeable staff and volunteers posted throughout the center can help with any questions or settle any arguments about who gets to touch the sea urchin next! Where the Loxahatchee River Center shines is in its dedication to the community. Hosting dozens of events, summer camps, intern and hands on learning opportunities throughout the Treasure Coast. Many of the events that take place in or on the water in Jupiter are tied to the Loxahatchee River Center and its crew. They join forces with local Boy and Girl Scout Troops, kayaking groups, environmental enthusiasts and schools to host or sponsor aquatic summer and holiday camps, fishing tournaments, and much more throughout the year.


If you’ve got a spare hour or two, aren’t sure how to fill up the rest of your family’s visit to Jupiter, or want to learn more about the beautiful aquatic ecosystems that swirl through the heart of our beautiful town, make a stop at the Jupiter River Center.

The Loxahatchee  River Center is in Burt Reynolds Park / 805 N. US Highway 1 Jupiter, FL 33477. It can be reached at 561-743-7123 and at

It’s hours of operation are:
September 1 - May 31
Tuesday – Wednesday 12PM -4PM and Thursday through Saturday 9AM - 4PM
June 1 – August 31
Tuesday through Saturday 9AM – 4PM

RC Shark.