Newport Aquarium anticipates 300,000th guest to cross the Shark Bridge

The Shark Bridge opened to the public on April 30, 2015.

The Shark Bridge opened to the public on April 30, 2015.

NEWPORT, Ky.Newport Aquarium officials have estimated that Sunday, Aug. 16, will be the day the 300,000th guest crosses the world’s first and only Shark Bridge.

Shark Bridge, a 75-foot-long, V-shaped rope bridge suspended over the open waters of the Surrounded by Sharks exhibit’s 385,000-gallon shark tank, opened on April 30 and has proven to be a hit with the public.

“When we built the Shark Bridge, we wanted to provide our guests with a completely new way to view some of our most popular animals, the nearly two dozen sharks in our 385,000 gallon shark oceanarium,” said Eric Rose, executive director for Newport Aquarium. “Families are telling us they’ve never experienced anything like it before, and kids are crossing as many times as their parents will let them.”

The 300,000 crossings of Shark Bridge equates to more than 4,200 miles of distance trekked, or roughly the equivalent of travelling from Cincinnati to Hawaii.

Dare to Cross the all-new Shark Bridge at Newport Aquarium.

Dare to Cross the Shark Bridge at Newport Aquarium.

The shark capital of the Midwest, Newport Aquarium boasts a variety of shark-infested activities in addition to the Shark Bridge:

  • Surrounded by Sharks – Newport Aquarium’s signature exhibit, guests can travel through an 85-foot-long acrylic tunnel inside a 385,000-gallon tank as seven species of sharks – scalloped hammerhead, sand tiger, whitetip, blacktip, zebra, sandbar and nurse – swim over and above.
  • Shark Tank Dive Shows – Guests catch their first and largest views of shark rays and sharks at the Shark Ray Bay theater, where our shark dive shows feature a scuba diver addressing and taking questions from the audience about the biology and conservation of sharks and other animals found inside the tank. (Fridays through Sundays: Noon, 12:20 p.m., 12:40 p.m., 2 p.m., 2:20 p.m. and 2:40 p.m.)
  • Shark Feedings – Newport Aquarium performs public feedings for its sharks and shark rays, where guests can watch biologists feed from either the Shark Ray Bay Theater, the Surrounded by Sharks tunnels, or through a biologist’s point-of-view from the Shark Tank Overlook. (Shark tank feeds 11 a.m. Mondays and Wednesdays; Large shark feeds 11 a.m. Tuesdays; Shark ray feeds 1:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays)
  • Shark Touch Pool – At the Shark Central exhibit, guests have the opportunity to touch dozens of sharks. An Animal Experience Specialist teaches guests the proper technique to touch sharks and helps them understand each species in this international collection. (open to close daily)
  • Sharks After Dark Overnight – Guests can sink their teeth into some great shark facts and sleep safely as they swim above. Every Overnight Adventure includes exclusive aquarium access, shark-themed games and activities. (7:30 p.m. Aug. 29)

Free Kids Admission Offer Ending Soon: Newport Aquarium is entering the final stretch of its Summer Family Hours promotion, when up to two children (ages 2-12) receive free* admission between 4-7 p.m. Sunday-Friday with the purchase of one full-priced adult ticket. This family-favorite offer runs through Aug. 31, and is available for purchase online only at newportaquarium.com.

For more information on Newport Aquarium, visit NewportAquarium.com or call toll free 800-406-FISH (3474).

*This special offer cannot be combined with other discounts or coupons. Last entry to the Aquarium is 6 p.m.

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Newport Aquarium has showcased thousands of animals from around the world in a million gallons of water since May 15, 1999. Named one of the best aquariums in the U.S. by Travel Channel and USA Today, Newport Aquarium is a Herschend Family Entertainment company and an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky jewel attraction is home to: The world’s first and only Shark Bridge; the world’s first Shark Ray Breeding Program; Mighty Mike – the biggest and baddest American alligator outside the state of Florida; the largest and most diverse collection of sharks in the Midwest; and one of the world’s largest and most diverse penguin exhibits. Newport Aquarium is open to the public 365 days a year and is located across the Ohio River from downtown Cincinnati at Newport on the Levee.

Stay Hooked In: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Google+ | YouTube

One Aquarium Way | Newport, KY 41071 | 859-261-7444
www.newportaquarium.com

Newport Aquarium to greet community at City of Newport’s National Night Out

(Photo via CityBeat.com)

(Photo via CityBeat.com)

NEWPORT, Ky. — Blueberry the African penguin from Newport Aquarium will greet the locals Aug. 4 during the City of Newport’s National Night Out event 6-9 p.m. at the Newport Pavilion shopping center.

NNO15_logoNow in its 32nd year, National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign to promote police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie.

SWAT and fire demonstrations from City of Newport Police and Fire departments, the sponsors of Newport’s National Night Out, highlight the list of free entertainment that also includes games, music, giveaways and rides.

In addition to Blueberry, Newport Aquarium’s nonprofit partners at the WAVE Foundation will have other outreach animals for the public to meet and learn about.

Ride the Ducks will be giving kids their famous Wacky Quackers while supplies last and will also have an enter-to-win drawing for a four-pack of tickets.

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All students from Newport are invited to enjoy the activities. There will be free refreshments, free school supplies and a limited number of free back-to-school haircuts for students.

The National Association of Town Watch (NATW), a nonprofit crime-prevention organization dedicated to the development and promotion of crime prevention in communities across the nation, originally developed the National Night Out campaign.

According to NATW, National Night Out “enhances the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community and provides a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances.”

In 2014, 38.1 million people participated in National Night Out across the country, per NATW.

For more information on Newport Aquarium, visit NewportAquarium.com or call toll free 800-406-FISH (3474).

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Newport Aquarium has showcased thousands of animals from around the world in a million gallons of water since May 15, 1999. Named one of the best aquariums in the U.S. by Travel Channel and USA Today, Newport Aquarium is a Herschend Family Entertainment company and an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky jewel attraction is home to: The world’s first and only Shark Bridge; the world’s first Shark Ray Breeding Program; Mighty Mike – the biggest and baddest American alligator outside the state of Florida; the largest and most diverse collection of sharks in the Midwest; and one of the world’s largest and most diverse penguin exhibits. Newport Aquarium is open to the public 365 days a year and is located across the Ohio River from downtown Cincinnati at Newport on the Levee.

Stay Hooked In: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Google+ | YouTube

One Aquarium Way | Newport, KY 41071 | 859-261-7444
www.newportaquarium.com

WAVE Foundation at Newport Aquarium to test public’s water knowledge at Water for Life event

Water For Life

The WAVE Foundation at Newport Aquarium will be one of 26 educational booths at the Water for Life event on Sunday, July 26, located just outside the Aquarium at the Newport on the Levee plaza.

NEWPORT, Ky. — Guests can meet an alligator and test their water knowledge through the WAVE Foundation, Newport Aquarium’s nonprofit partner, during the second annual Water for Life event on Sunday, July 26, located at the Newport on the Levee plaza and Riverboat Row.

“Newport Aquarium, as well as our partners at the WAVE Foundation, strives to promote the importance of water conservation and water quality every day,” said Chris Pierson, operations director at Newport Aquarium, which in April received an Earth Day Award from the Kentucky Environmental Quality Commission for featuring a “Water Story” throughout its exhibits. “The Water for Life event aligns with our water-conservation message and provides a fun opportunity to engage the community about the water story.”

Water for life flyer_finalA free event open to the public, Water for Life runs from 2-5 p.m. and will feature food, games and nearly 30 educational booths with interactive and fun ways for people of all ages to celebrate our most precious resource, water, while highlighting the importance and value of water conservation and quality.

Water samples from Newport Aquarium’s Shark and Amazon tanks, as well as from the Ohio River, will be set up at the WAVE Foundation booth, where guests can guess the source of the samples based on pH, salinity and temperature.

Additionally, Newport Aquarium’s Garry the gator will greet guests from the WAVE Foundation booth throughout the event.

Garry the gator

Kids who pick up a booth passport upon their arrival at Water for Life can get their passport stamped each time they complete an activity at a booth. Once a booth passport is completed, kids can earn a free snow cone from Kona Ice, along with other prizes.

Inflatable Slide

Similar to last year’s Water for Life event in Chattanooga, Tenn., this year’s Water for Life event in Newport, Ky., will feature an inflatable slide.

In addition to the nearly 30 interactive booths, Water for Life will include an inflatable slide and a water tasting competition.

Water for Life kicks off the 2015 Kentucky-Tennessee Water Professionals Conference, which runs from July 26-29, when approximately 1,500 water professionals will gather in Northern Kentucky to learn and network about water issues affecting the customers and communities they serve. The Northern Kentucky Water District and Sanitation District No. 1 are the conference’s co-hosts.

For more information on Newport Aquarium, visit NewportAquarium.com or call toll free 800-406-FISH (3474). To learn more about the WAVE Foundation, visit wavefoundation.org.

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Newport Aquarium has showcased thousands of animals from around the world in a million gallons of water since May 15, 1999. Named one of the best aquariums in the U.S. by Travel Channel and USA Today, Newport Aquarium is a Herschend Family Entertainment company and an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky jewel attraction is home to: The world’s first and only Shark Bridge; the world’s first Shark Ray Breeding Program; Mighty Mike – the biggest and baddest American alligator outside the state of Florida; the largest and most diverse collection of sharks in the Midwest; and one of the world’s largest and most diverse penguin exhibits. Newport Aquarium is open to the public 365 days a year and is located across the Ohio River from downtown Cincinnati at Newport on the Levee.

Stay Hooked In: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Google+ | YouTube

One Aquarium Way | Newport, KY 41071 | 859-261-7444
www.newportaquarium.com

Celebrate the contributions of zoo keepers during National Zoo Keeper Week

By Ric Urban, Newport Aquarium Animal Ambassador

Newport Aquarium Animal Ambassador Ric Urban (right) has more than 30 years of experience as a zoo keeper. (Photo by Tim Webb/Kentucky Living)

Newport Aquarium Animal Ambassador Ric Urban (right) has more than 30 years of experience as a zoo keeper. (Photo by Tim Webb/Kentucky Living)

As we come off Major League Baseball’s All-Star Week here in Greater Cincinnati, we roll right into my favorite week in July – National Zoo Keeper Week. This is the eighth year of celebration for all zoos and aquariums around the country to recognize our “All-Stars” for the animals and the conservation of our environment. In 2007, Congress recognized the valuable contributions and dedication of American animal professionals by declaring the third week in July as National Zoo Keeper Week.

Did you know that more than 180 million people visit aquariums and zoos across the United States each year? That is an amazing number! More people visit aquariums and zoos in the U.S. annually than all major professional sports leagues combined.

Why do we go to aquariums and zoos? I think everyone wants to see and get close to animals in one way or another. Guests find a way to relate to the animals. Our keepers or biologists can share stories about the animals under their care and make that connection with the visitors. People really love hearing the stories about the animals.

A “keeper” is just a common name that covers a variety of titles for animal care professionals around the country. At Newport Aquarium, we call our keepers biologists. Biologists’ daily routines are as diverse as the animal collection they work with. Biologists prepare diets, clean glass, build exhibits and teach. Animal keepers are your front-line educators for endangered species around the world.

Newport Aquarium Executive Director Eric Rose (left) receives the aquarium's renewed accreditation from Association of Zoos & Aquarium Executive Director Kris Vehrs.

Newport Aquarium Executive Director Eric Rose (left) receives the aquarium’s renewed accreditation from Association of Zoos & Aquarium Executive Director Kris Vehrs.

The Newport Aquarium is proud to be an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), which means that we meet exceptional standards in animal care, wildlife conservation and public education. The Newport Aquarium is one of 229 AZA accredited zoos and aquariums in North America, where there are more than 3,000 professional animal keepers providing invaluable roles as leaders in animal conservation, habitat preservation and education.

AZA aquariums and zoos spend more than $160 million a year on conservation programs around the world. Biologists and keepers are the catalysts for many of these global programs.

In the early 1990s, zoo keepers started raising money through bowl-a-thons to support rhinos in Kenya. Today, zoo keepers have raised more than $5 million to support the conservation efforts on two continents to protect five species of rhinos. There are more than 600 Species Survival Plans that biologists dedicate their lives to preserve and protect around the world.

At the Newport Aquarium, we are proud of the contributions that our biologists make on a daily basis – to the animals and to the preservation of the habitats in which the animals live. Our biologists work on committees for the management of animal populations in zoos and aquariums. They work for the preservation of our local waterways and wetlands. They develop guidelines for management of species under professional animal care, and they work on the conservation of habitat and ecosystems for the wildlife where they live.

The Backstage Animal Experience at Newport Aquarium offers guest a behind-the-scenes look of the aquarium.

The Backstage Animal Experience at Newport Aquarium offers guest a behind-the-scenes look of the aquarium.

Newport Aquarium biologists and staff are involved in more than two dozen managed animal programs, which include zebra sharks, Asian small-clawed otters and six species of penguins.

So, during National Zoo Keeper Week, come and visit the Newport Aquarium and ask our biologists or interpreters about the animals. Your visit helps us support all of the conservation programs to save animals and protect the habitats they live in.

If you see me around the aquarium, ask me about our African penguins and what the Newport Aquarium is doing for penguins around the world.

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Ric Urban has more than 30 years of experience in the zoo keeper industry. Since 2004, he has served as a member of the animal husbandry team at Newport Aquarium, where he currently oversees animal acquisition and disposition, exhibit development, and compliance. He also serves as an animal ambassador for Newport Aquarium, making public and media appearances on behalf of the Greater Cincinnati attraction.

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Newport Aquarium has showcased thousands of animals from around the world in a million gallons of water since May 15, 1999. Named one of the best aquariums in the U.S. by Travel Channel and USA Today, Newport Aquarium is a Herschend Family Entertainment company and an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky jewel attraction is home to: The world’s first and only Shark Bridge; the world’s first Shark Ray Breeding Program; Mighty Mike – the biggest and baddest American alligator outside the state of Florida; the largest and most diverse collection of sharks in the Midwest; and one of the world’s largest and most diverse penguin exhibits. Newport Aquarium is open to the public 365 days a year and is located across the Ohio River from downtown Cincinnati at Newport on the Levee.

Stay Hooked In: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Google+ | YouTube

One Aquarium Way | Newport, KY 41071 | 859-261-7444
www.newportaquarium.com

Make-A-Wish kids visit Newport Aquarium, meet Paula the penguin, prior to attending 2015 MLB All-Star Game

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Newport Aquarium animal ambassador Ric Urban and Paula the penguin met four Make-A-Wish All-Star kids and their families before the Wish kids attend the MLB All-Star Game.

NEWPORT, Ky. — Four children supported by the Make-A-Wish® Foundation visited Newport Aquarium on Tuesday morning (July 14) as part of their wish to attend the Major League Baseball All-Star Game.

Before they attend the All-Star Game later in the evening, the Make-A-Wish® kids received an exclusive penguin encounter at the Kroger Penguin Palooza exhibit, where they met Paula the African penguin.

After getting their photos taken with Paula and learning about the biology and conservation of penguins, the Wish kids went on a personal tour of Newport Aquarium led by Ric Urban, animal ambassador for the Aquarium.

Wish Kids

The Make-A-Wish kids were:

  • Carson, 15, of Almo, Kentucky, who is battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia
  • Christopher, 14, from New Jersey, who is fighting kidney disease
  • Riley, 13, from California, who is battling kidney disease
  • Nathan, 15, from Nebraska, who has Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Following the end of their tour, the Wish kids were presented with Newport Aquarium backpacks filled with aquarium memorabilia and souvenirs. Additionally, Digiphoto Entertainment Imaging provided the Wish kids complimentary photos taken throughout the tour.

Wish Kids 2

MLB coordinated the Wish kids’ visit to Newport Aquarium through the Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana chapter of the Make-A-Wish® Foundation.

In addition to visiting Newport Aquarium during their stay in Cincinnati, the Wish kids participated in MLB activities that included the T-Mobile All-Star FanFest; the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game and the All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game (Sunday) and the Gillette Home Run Derby presented by Head & Shoulders (Monday).

Tuesday evening, the four Make-A-Wish® kids will have their wishes granted by attending the 86th MLB All-Star Game at Great American Ball Park.

For more information on Newport Aquarium, visit NewportAquarium.com or call toll free 800-406-FISH (3474).

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Newport Aquarium, voted the No. 1 aquarium in the country by USA Today’s 10Best.com in 2012, has showcased thousands of animals from around the world in a million gallons of water since 1999. Named a top U.S. aquarium by US City Traveler and Destinations Travel Magazine in 2014, and also by Travel Channel in 2013, Newport Aquarium is a Herschend Family Entertainment company and an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Newport Aquarium is open to the public 365 days a year and is located across the Ohio River from downtown Cincinnati at Newport on the Levee.

Facebook: Facebook.com/NewportAquarium
Twitter: @NewportAquarium
Instagram: @newport_aquarium

One Aquarium Way | Newport, KY 41071 | 859-261-7444
www.newportaquarium.com

Shark Week to feature beneficiary of WAVE Foundation at Newport Aquarium

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NEWPORT, Ky. — A beneficiary of the WAVE Foundation, Newport Aquarium’s nonprofit organization, will be on Shark Week programming on Discovery Channel this week.

“There will be some Shark Week appearances that were partly made possible by the WAVE Foundation,” said Dr. Craig O’Connell, co-founder of the O’Seas Conservation Foundation (OCF). “If it wasn’t for (the WAVE Foundation’s) funding, I wouldn’t have been able to follow my passion for shark conservation.”

O’Connell and his work with the OCF will be in the follow Shark Week episodes:

Ninja Sharks (Wednesday, July 8 | 10 p.m. ET)

Shark After Dark (Thursday, July 9 | 11 p.m. ET)

Shark Island (Sunday, July 12 | 8 p.m. ET)

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In 2014, the WAVE Foundation contributed $4,500 to the OCF to assist with shark science and youth education. The funds were used to help study the life history characteristics of the common thresher shark, smooth hammerhead and white shark in the Atlantic Ocean near the New York and New Jersey. WAVE Foundation’s donation was also used to develop a youth education program to provide students with skills to excel in marine biology.

By integrating shark tagging with youth education, this innovative approach has increased the knowledge pertaining to an understudied species and has helped secure our future through the education and motivation of our environmentally conscious youth.

“The funds from the WAVE Foundation have been put to good use,” said O’Connell. “We have made many discoveries, including observing common thresher, white, smooth hammerheads, and huge mako sharks feeding around our longlines. This will yield a complexity of studies that will largely contribute to species conservation!”

O’Connell stated the most important aspect of the WAVE Foundation’s contributions were the marine biology experience gained for his approximate 25 students, who range from 5th to 12th grade.

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“The funds from the WAVE Foundation were used to essentially sponsor these kids and the experience they gained, and the smiles they left, which is something I will forever cherish, so I want to thank you again,” said O’Connell. “This funding has changed my life!”

The WAVE Foundation also contributed to the OCS in 2013 in the amount of $750, which was used to purchase materials necessary for one of O’Connell’s project aimed to decrease the amount of shark mortalities caused by beach nets and produce an eco-friendly alternate solution to netting in the form of magnets.

About WAVE Foundation
The WAVE Foundation is an independent, educational non-profit organization at Newport Aquarium, which strives to excite, engage and educate the community about aquatic life and the importance of conservation. Its programming initiatives exist in three core areas: education, conservation and volunteerism. WAVE provides unique education curriculum and experiences for students of all ages; supports and provides leadership in local, national and global conservation efforts; and has a vibrant volunteer program with over 500 dedicated volunteers.

About O’Seas Conservation Foundation
Established in 2013, the O’Seas Conservation Foundation (OCF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that actively participates in wildlife conservation projects all over the world. Founded by Dr. Craig O’Connell and Dr. Nicole O’Connell, OCF was established to conduct local and global conservation engineering, population dynamics, and other field studies focusing on some of the most endangered species on the planet.  However, with a home base in New York, OCF’s key focus is to characterize the shark, skate and ray fauna in local waters to help obtain valuable population dynamics and structure-related data for several critical species.  Besides this, OCF is unique in that it runs summer programs for 6th-12th graders, giving them the opportunity to be part of shark research projects and inspiring them to pursue a career in the field of conservation/marine biology.

For more information on Newport Aquarium, visit NewportAquarium.com or call toll free 800-406-FISH (3474).

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Newport Aquarium, voted the No. 1 aquarium in the country by USA Today’s 10Best.com in 2012, has showcased thousands of animals from around the world in a million gallons of water since 1999. Named a top U.S. aquarium by US City Traveler and Destinations Travel Magazine in 2014, and also by Travel Channel in 2013, Newport Aquarium is a Herschend Family Entertainment company and an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Newport Aquarium is open to the public 365 days a year and is located across the Ohio River from downtown Cincinnati at Newport on the Levee.

Find us on: Facebook.com/NewportAquarium | Twitter: @NewportAquarium
Instagram: @newport_aquarium

One Aquarium Way | Newport, KY 41071 | 859-261-7444
www.newportaquarium.com

Newport Aquarium kicks off Shark Week by adding 2 zebra sharks

NEWPORT, Ky. — Newport Aquarium introduced two female zebra sharks onto exhibit Monday as a part of the Northern Kentucky attraction’s jaw-some lineup of Shark Week festivities.

Hatched on March 6, 2014 at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, Calif. through artificial insemination, the younger of the two females was introduced to the 60,000-gallon Coral Reef tank around 1:40 p.m.

Approximately 10 minutes later, the elder of the two female zebra sharks, which is 15 years old and came from Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in Omaha, Neb., was introduced into the 385,000-gallon Surrounded by Sharks exhibit.

The introduction of the two female zebra sharks at Newport Aquarium stems from a breeding program sanctioned by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

Newport Aquarium will be a new participant in Species Survival Plan for zebra sharks when they add two female zebra sharks to the Surrounded by Sharks exhibit.

Newport Aquarium will be a new participant in Species Survival Plan for zebra sharks when they add two female zebra sharks to the Surrounded by Sharks exhibit. (Photo credit: worldwildlife.org)

The AZA’s Species Survival Plan for zebra sharks calls for accredited institutions like Newport Aquarium to help develop the population by arranging for biologically distant matches to meet in environments conducive to mating.

Once the 16-month-old female zebra shark reaches maturity, she will eventually make her way to the Surrounded by Sharks exhibit, where the 15-year-old female and two adult male zebra sharks reside.

These two zebra shark additions have increased the number of exhibited sharks at Newport Aquarium to 55 across 15 species, the most in the Midwest.

For more information on Newport Aquarium, visit NewportAquarium.com or call toll free 800-406-FISH (3474).

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Newport Aquarium, voted the No. 1 aquarium in the country by USA Today’s 10Best.com in 2012, has showcased thousands of animals from around the world in a million gallons of water since 1999. Named a top U.S. aquarium by US City Traveler and Destinations Travel Magazine in 2014, and also by Travel Channel in 2013, Newport Aquarium is a Herschend Family Entertainment company and an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Newport Aquarium is open to the public 365 days a year and is located across the Ohio River from downtown Cincinnati at Newport on the Levee.

Find us on: Facebook.com/NewportAquarium | Twitter: @NewportAquarium

One Aquarium Way | Newport, KY 41071 | 859-261-7444
www.newportaquarium.com

Newport Aquarium announces All-Star roster

NEWPORT, Ky. — Thousands of baseball fans are expected to flock to Cincinnati this July for the 2015 Major League Baseball All-Star Game.

This year’s Midsummer Classic will be played on July 14, 2015, at Great American Ball Park – which is the home of the Cincinnati Reds and located just a Babe Ruth home run away from Newport Aquarium across the Ohio River.BUYNOW2_ButtonAs excitement mounts for watching baseball’s best play on one field, for one game, to determine whether the American League or National League pennant winner receives home-field advantage in the World Series, a lot of discussion has sparked among Newport Aquarium staff over who is most deserving of making the All-Star teams.

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Welcome to the MLB All-Star Game in Cincinnati from Newport Aquarium!

This conversation inevitably led to the question, “If Newport Aquarium had an All-Star team, who would crack the starting lineup?”

After intense debate, we finally came up with a consensus. Ladies and gentlemen, your Newport Aquarium All-Stars:

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Pos. Name Species Scouting Report
1B Mighty Mike American Alligator The biggest and baddest alligator outside the state of Florida displays the raw power desired from a corner infielder.
2B Kevin Bacon King Penguin Chick This rookie is a natural diver, which is great for fielding groundballs up the middle.
SS Cal Sand Tiger Shark When you’re named after Cal Ripken Jr., it’s practically assumed that you play shortstop.
3B Paula African Penguin Aside from being a great base runner (as evidenced by the video above), this South Africa native feels right at home at the hot corner.
C Denver Loggerhead Sea Turtle His shell provides natural padding for blocking wild pitches from behind home plate.
P Pork Chop Asian-Small Clawed Otter This “southpaw” was one of the few animals at Newport Aquarium with the arm to pitch.
LF Sweet Pea Shark Ray Sweet Pea has a knack for finding the “Sweet Spot” of the bat.
CF Hercules Arapaima Fish His ability to jump out of the water to catch prey translates well to center field, where he can rob potential home run balls.
RF Greg Sandbar Shark Named after power-hitting outfielder Greg Vaughn, who played for the Reds in 1999, Newport Aquarium’s first year.

The team would be managed by Thunder, a more than 100-year-old alligator snapping turtle and Newport Aquarium’s oldest resident, who has the experience to lead this group to victory.

What are your thoughts on Newport Aquarium’s All-Star roster? Did we hit a home run or swing and miss? Give us your thoughts with a comment below!BUYNOW2_ButtonPacket Pickup for The Color Run MLB All-Star 5K, presented by Nike: Newport Aquarium will be staffing the packet-pickup operations for The Color Run MLB All-Star 5K, presented by Nike. Registered racers can pick up their packets from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. July 9-10 near the old IMAX building adjacent to Newport Aquarium and near the valet circle next to Brio Tuscan Grille at Newport on the Levee. The Color Run MLB All-Star 5K, presented by Nike begins July 11 at 9 a.m. AllStarGame.com/Run

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Summer Family Hours: Newport Aquarium is making a splash this summer with the return of its Summer Family Hours promotion, when up to two children (ages 2-12) receive FREE admission between 4-7 p.m. with the purchase of one full-priced adult ticket. This family-favorite offer is available for purchase online only, at newportaquarium.com, for visits now through Aug. 31, Sundays through Fridays.

Ride the Ducks Combo: For baseball fans traveling to the Queen City for the All-Star Game, Ride the Ducks is a perfect way to tour Greater Cincinnati. Ride the Ducks is the only tour in the region that uses amphibious World War II replica DUKW vehicles that travel on land and water. A 45-minute Ride the Ducks tour splashes down in the Ohio River and travels through downtown Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. A Newport Aquarium/Ride the Ducks ticket combo allows you to experience two of Cincinnati’s best family-friendly attractions for one low cost. More info

For more information on Newport Aquarium, visit NewportAquarium.com or call toll free 800-406-FISH (3474).

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Newport Aquarium, voted the No. 1 aquarium in the country by USA Today’s 10Best.com in 2012, has showcased thousands of animals from around the world in a million gallons of water since 1999. Named a top U.S. aquarium by US City Traveler and Destinations Travel Magazine in 2014, and also by Travel Channel in 2013, Newport Aquarium is a Herschend Family Entertainment company and an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Newport Aquarium is open to the public 365 days a year and is located across the Ohio River from downtown Cincinnati at Newport on the Levee.

Find us on: Facebook.com/NewportAquarium | Twitter: @NewportAquarium
Instagram: @newport_aquarium

One Aquarium Way | Newport, KY 41071 | 859-261-7444
www.newportaquarium.com

Happy #SMDay from Newport Aquarium!

NAQ entranceNEWPORT, Ky. — On this #SMDay (Social Media Day), Newport Aquarium would like to take the time to say ‘Thank You’ to our more than 100,000 fans across all of our multiple social media networks.

Launched in 2010, Social Media Day was created by Mashable to celebrate social media’s impact on communication worldwide. Social media has grown immensely over the years and projects to become an even bigger part of people’s everyday lives moving forward.

City of Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley even proclaimed June 30, 2015, as Social Media Day in Cincinnati (or #SMdayCincy)!

At Newport Aquarium, we like to use social media to for a number of different reasons – to educate, to entertain, to inform and, most importantly, to connect with our fans.

We want to make our fans laugh, teach them about interesting animal facts, raise awareness about conservation efforts and provide useful information regarding Newport Aquarium.

We love seeing photos, videos and posts from our guests, as well as feedback and suggestions to help us improve your social media experience.

For a quick reference, here is a directory of all of our social media networks:

Facebook

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The next time you publish a post about Newport Aquarium (especially on Twitter and Instagram) tag it with #NewportAquarium. We use a number of different hashtags throughout the year, but you can’t go wrong with the aforementioned #NewportAquarium.

If you have any suggestions on ways we can provide a better social media experience for you, we would love to hear them. Feel free to leave your suggestions with a comment on this blog post.

Happy #SocialMediaDay2015!

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Newport Aquarium, voted the No. 1 aquarium in the country by USA Today’s 10Best.com in 2012, has showcased thousands of animals from around the world in a million gallons of water since 1999. Named a top U.S. aquarium by US City Traveler and Destinations Travel Magazine in 2014, and also by Travel Channel in 2013, Newport Aquarium is a Herschend Family Entertainment company and an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Newport Aquarium is open to the public 365 days a year and is located across the Ohio River from downtown Cincinnati at Newport on the Levee.

Find us on: Facebook.com/NewportAquarium | Twitter: @NewportAquarium
Instagram: @newport_aquarium

One Aquarium Way | Newport, KY 41071 | 859-261-7444
www.newportaquarium.com

Newport Aquarium, the Shark Capital of the Midwest, announces Shark Week activities

Aquarium joins Species Survival Program for zebra sharks, to add 2 females on exhibit

NEWPORT, Ky. — The introduction of two female zebra sharks highlights a jaw-some lineup of Shark Week (July 5-12) activities at Newport Aquarium.

The addition of the two female zebra sharks will increase the number of exhibited sharks at Newport Aquarium to 56 across 15 species, the most in the Midwest.

As part of a breeding program sanctioned by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), both female zebra sharks will be introduced to the Coral Reef tunnel during a media event on July 6. The two females will eventually make their way to the Surrounded by Sharks tank, where two adult male zebra sharks reside.

Newport Aquarium will be a new participant in Species Survival Plan for zebra sharks when they add two female zebra sharks to the Surrounded by Sharks exhibit.

Newport Aquarium will be a new participant in Species Survival Plan for zebra sharks when they add two female zebra sharks to the Surrounded by Sharks exhibit.                                              (Photo credit: worldwildlife.org)

 

The AZA’s Species Survival Plan for zebra sharks calls for accredited institutions to help develop the population by arranging for biologically distant matches to meet in environments conducive to mating.

From touching sharks, to viewing sharks above, below and around, the most shark-infested place to celebrate Shark Week is Newport Aquarium, where there is always more new to see and do:

  • Shark Bridge – Guests can experience sharks like never before by crossing the world’s first and only Shark Bridge. Included with admission, the Shark Bridge is a 75-foot-long rope suspension bridge that hangs just inches above nearly two dozen sharks.
  • Surrounded by Sharks – Newport Aquarium’s signature exhibit, guests can travel through an 85-foot-long acrylic tunnel inside a 385,000-gallon tank as seven species of shark – scalloped hammerhead, sand tiger, whitetip, blacktip, zebra, sandbar and nurse – swim over and above.
  • Shark Tank Dive Shows – Guests catch their first and largest views of shark rays and sharks at the Shark Ray Bay Theater, where our shark dive shows feature a scuba diver addressing and taking questions from the audience about the biology and conservation of sharks and other animals found inside the tank. (July 5 and July 10-12: Noon, 12:20 p.m., 12:40 p.m., 2 p.m., 2:20 p.m. and 2:40 p.m.)
  • Shark Feedings – Newport Aquarium performs public feedings for its sharks and shark rays, where guests can watch biologists feed from either the Shark Ray Bay Theater, the Surrounded by Sharks tunnels, or through a biologist’s point-of-view from the Shark Tank Overlook. (Shark tank feed 11 a.m. July 6 and July 8; Large shark feed 11 a.m. July 7; Shark ray feedings 1:30 p.m. July 6-10)
  • Shark Touch Pool – At the Shark Central exhibit, guests have the opportunity to touch dozens of sharks. An Animal Experience Specialist teaches guests the proper touch technique and helps them understand each species in this international collection. (9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily)
  • Sharks After Dark Overnight – Guests can sink their teeth into some great shark facts and sleep safely as they swim above. Every Overnight Adventure includes exclusive aquarium access, shark-themed games and activities. (7:30 p.m. July 10)

    A portion of the proceeds from Shark Week tshirts will be donated to the WAVE Foundation.

    A portion of the proceeds from Shark Week t-shirt sales at the Newport Aquarium gift shop will be donated to the WAVE Foundation.

  • Shark Week T-Shirts for Conservation – Officially licensed Discovery Channel Shark Week T-shirts will be available for purchase at the Newport Aquarium gift shop starting July 5. A portion of the revenue generated from these Shark Week tees will be donated to the WAVE Foundation at Newport Aquarium, which supports aquatic conservation.

Two Summers of Fun: Now through July 29, guests who purchase a Newport Aquarium Annual Pass will receive two summers of fun – 14 months of unlimited visits for the price of 12. Annual Pass benefits include discounts on guest admissions; invitations to passholder-exclusive events; as well as discounts at select Newport on the Levee vendors and other partner attractions, including the Cincinnati Reds and Dollywood.

For more information on Newport Aquarium, visit NewportAquarium.com or call toll free 800-406-FISH (3474).

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Newport Aquarium, voted the No. 1 aquarium in the country by USA Today’s 10Best.com in 2012, has showcased thousands of animals from around the world in a million gallons of water since 1999. Named a top U.S. aquarium by US City Traveler and Destinations Travel Magazine in 2014, and also by Travel Channel in 2013, Newport Aquarium is a Herschend Family Entertainment company and an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Newport Aquarium is open to the public 365 days a year and is located across the Ohio River from downtown Cincinnati at Newport on the Levee.

Facebook: Facebook.com/NewportAquarium | Twitter: @NewportAquarium
Instagram: @newport_aquarium

One Aquarium Way | Newport, KY 41071 | 859-261-7444
www.newportaquarium.com