Tobacco Caye Marine Station

The Best Location For Marine Education On The Belize Barrier Reef

Study AbroadTestimonials

Educating students about the marine environment of Belize

We are an educational and research NGO which immerses both local Belizean students and study abroad students in experiential learning on the Belize Barrier Reef. Providing bespoke learning programs to middle school through to university students, Tobacco Caye Marine Station can tailor a study abroad program to any age and education focus.

Tobacco Caye Marine Station Covid Policy

COVID-19 response

With Belize’s tourism industry now open to international travelers, new travel norms and guidelines have been put in place for the accommodation and tour sector.

Tobacco Caye Marine Station and our partners are committed to making your trip to Tobacco Caye as safe as possible. We have created an extensive page dedicated to dealing with all the Covid rules and regulation. Click on the button below to learn more.

Our Unique Campus

Tobacco Caye is one of 450 sand and mangrove cayes located right on top of the Belize Barrier Reef. With this easy accessible marine environment as our classroom, students can explore the diverse biomes of coral reefs, seagrass and mangroves with our knowledgeable guide teams. Our educational field excursions around the South Water Caye Marine Reserve offer students the opportunity to snorkel in a variety of unique flora and fauna locations. We also take the opportunity to visit the Smithsonian Caribbean Research institute just a 15 minute boat ride away.

Tobacco Caye Marine Station Office

Our Research Projects

Tobacco Caye Marine Station Zookeeper

Invasive Lionfish

The invasion of the Red Lionfish in Belize started in December 2008. They are the first invasive species to establish themselves in the Western Atlantic. Our project seeks to remove them from around the South Water Caye Marine Reserve and document what species they are preying upon.

Total amount of lionfish culled and researched by TCMS

Lionfish eggs prevented from being released

Tobacco Caye Marine Station Environmental Classes

Reef Clean

Plastic pollution and marine litter is one of the greatest threats our oceans are facing. 8 million metric tons of plastic is entering our oceans every single year! Our reef clean project is tackling this global issue by collecting, documenting, reusing, repurposing and disposing of marine litter washing on our reef crest and island.

Total individual items of trash collected from the reef crest

Total lbs of trash collected from the reef crest

Total number of ecobricks made

Tobacco Caye Marine Station Coral Watch

Coral Watch

Our oceans are changing and coral species are struggling to adapt to this change, causing more recurrent signs of bleaching and disease. With the citizen science project from the University of Queensland’s Coral Watch Project we are helping to monitor the reef health and recording our results on a global database.

Total number of corals surveyed for bleaching through the University of Queensland's Coral Watch Citizen Science project

Total number of corals surveyed for bleaching and disease through TCMS surveys

Help Support Our Research & Community Projects

You can donate to support local fisherman with our lionfish bounty campaign.


You can donate to help us collect and properly recycle, repurpose and dispose of plastic pollution washing up on the reef crest.


Your donations are helping us to continue important research which benefits student projects that will inspire the next generation of marine scientists and conservationists.

Discover Our Marine Internship Program

The most fun you will have when you learn, evolve, adapt, & understand. Become a marine ambassador for our oceans.

“The instructors at Tobacco Caye Marine Station did a terrific job of instructing students about marine resources and also demonstrating, through their management of the station, what responsible marine stewardship looks like. The activity of the Reef Clean with Tobacco Caye Marine Station drove home for our students the importance of stewardship and their personal connection to problems of global significance.”

Professor at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh