In August of 2023, we opened a virtual aquarium in the lighthouse’s Oceans Institute! The virtual aquarium features 18 species of fish and sea creatures that live in Montauk’s waters, from striped bass to great white sharks. The animals in the aquarium react when visitors walk up to the display. For example: the blowfish expands, the scallop shuts its shell, the shark does a flip, or snaps its jaws.  The aquarium is open during our normal business hours, and is free with admission to the lighthouse.

The mission of the Montauk Oceans Institute is to build community, educate, and heighten awareness surrounding our local ocean’s health through an interactive museum space and outdoor oceanfront amphitheater in Montauk, Long Island.

The MOI seeks to execute installations, interactive exhibitions, and programs that highlight and explore the wonders and environmental complexities of the ocean. We serve as a platform that enables the organizations, foundations, policymakers, and philanthropic voices of our community to pool their findings and ideas in solving today’s oceanographic issues.

The Montauk Point Lighthouse’s Oceans Institute opened its doors to the public in August 2015. Private donors enabled a renovation of the historic windows and the doors in the former Fog Signal Building, which was erected in 1897. The institute was founded because of the vision and passion of local residents Bettina Stelle and Greg Donohue, who are Montauk Lighthouse Committee members, and local reporter and author, Rusty Drumm.

Today the Oceans Institute has changing exhibitions, and throughout the summer season it features free talks by experts in environmentalism and marine biology.  Please check our “events” for more information.

Executive Committee

Bettina Stelle, Chair
Greg Donohue
Joe Gaviola

Advisory Board

Bill Akin
Jimmy Buffett
Gaelin Rosenwaks, Lead Marine Scientist
Richard White III, educator, Montauk School

Technical/Artistic Advisory

John Chimples
Tripoli Patterson
Jason Walter
Dave Wesolowski