The museum, at 70 Honey Horn Drive on Hilton Head Island, was named as an affiliate on Thursday, according to a news release.
Coastal Discovery Museum joins 201 museums, educational and cultural organizations across the United States which have earned the distinction.
Affiliates are selected for their record of scholarship, professionalism, high quality exhibits and effective museum education programs, the release stated.
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Harold Closter, director of Smithsonian Affiliations, will make a brief presentation to the museum on Nov. 18 to celebrate the designation.