National Zoo Keeper Week 2019

This week is National Zoo Keeper Week. Our Biologists may not have the official title of “Zookeeper,” but they do give exemplary care to the animals that live here at Newport Aquarium. Here’s a brief glimpse into what they do behind the scenes!

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Newport Aquarium has thirteen biologists that care for all of the fish, reptiles, amphibians, and penguins that have their home here. Care for these animals is more than just simply feeding and giving the animals some attention. They also have a lot of food preparation, cleaning, and maintenance work to do!

All of our seafood and produce is restaurant-quality and prepared with great care by our team.

Food preparation for the animals is a major part of the day. The animals at Newport Aquarium have very specific diets, and it is the job of our biologists to make sure they get the exact food they need. A lot of research is done to ensure that we are getting the right food items and nutrients to each animal. If you step into our animal kitchen in the morning, you may see a variety of fish, shrimp, salads, and bugs. If the Sharkrays are eating, you may even see whole Lobster! All of our seafood and produce is restaurant-quality and prepared with great care by our team.

Senior Biologist Jen, feeding Denver, our adult loggerhead sea turtle at his station. Denver is about 24 years old and weighs about 205 pounds! His favorite foods include fish, squid and salmon which he eats regularly, about 3-5 days a week.

Training is an important part of the care of many of our animals here at Newport Aquarium. Animals like the white alligators and our sharkrays are Target Trained. This means that they know to come to a target pole to get their food. Denver the loggerhead sea turtle and some of our stingrays are Station Trained. This means that the animals know to come to a specific location when asked to. This helps the biologists safely work with these animals and ensures that every one of them gets the food and care they need.

Biologist Kelly target training our Caiman Lizard.

 

Life at the aquarium could get boring if it wasn’t for our biologists and the enrichment they give to the animals. Enrichment can be anything from a new object in the enclosure, changing around their furniture, a new scent, sounds of their wild cousins, or a new food item. Our biologists use enrichment all of the time to stimulate each animal’s mind, keep them active, and help our animals engage in natural behaviors.

Introducing new objects encourages animals to explore, and it enriches their lives.

 

Animals can be messy, so our biologists have to always be ready to clean! This can be anything from cleaning the algae on the glass, to doing water changes, to scrubbing penguin “mess.” By the end of the day, they might be dirty, but the animals homes are clean and looking great!

Biologist Kristen scrubbing the glass of our paddlefish tank.

 

 

 

 

Biologist Rob cleaning our Coral propagation tank.

Health care is always on the mind of a good biologist. Daily observation of the animals helps to spot a problem before it starts. And if the need arises, our biologists work closely with our Vet Team to address any issue.

Our Vet Team evaluating some scans from Victoria the penguin.

 

 

What day is complete without a little bit of paperwork? This aspect of our biologists’ day isn’t well known to many people. Everything we do for the animals gets logged every day. This way, we have accurate records of what the animals ate, what kind of enrichment or training we did, or if there are any problems that we’re seeing. Paperwork is the biologists’ least favorite part, but it is critical to making sure our animals are well taken care of.

Biologists hard at work doing their afternoon paperwork.

 

 

 

 

 

Our biologists are animal conservation heroes. You may have noticed, some of our biologists share their passion with local TV stations.

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Our biologists put in a hard day’s work, but they say it is worth it to know that the animals in their care are healthy and thriving. We are grateful for the work they do during this National Zookeeper Week and every other day of the year!

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Giant Sea Life Sand Sculptures Taking Shape at Newport Aquarium

Didn’t get to make it to the beach this summer? Newport Aquarium is bringing the beach to you. #SharkSummer has been extended with the addition of giant sea life sand sculptures to be discovered along the adventure. During this promotion, one child gets in free with each full price adult on select dates and times.

14.5 tons of sand help comprise three large sand sculptures in Newport Aquarium. This one celebrates the aquarium’s 20th anniversary.

 

International grandmaster sand sculptor Damon Farmer is producing the custom sculptures. They will feature dozens of animals from the aquarium and will reach up to 8 feet tall. The sculptures are produced from more than 14.5 tons of sand. Guests visiting from Monday July 22 to Thursday July 25 will get to see the artist in action, actually producing the huge sculptures. Starting Friday July 26 they will be fully complete and on display through the end of #SharkSummer on September 8.

Guests can see grandmaster sand sculptor Damon Farmer in action this week while he builds the 6-8 foot tall sand sculptures.

 

In honor of #SharkSummer, each of the sand sculptures will include sharks and hidden elements for families to discover. “These sculptures are just so detailed. Everything from sharks to sea turtles and penguins will be seen but the closer you look, the more you’ll see down to the smallest of fish and corals,” said Newport Aquarium Executive Director, Eric Rose. “They really are a celebration of all the animals, perfect as we celebrate our 20th Anniversary this year.”

Each sand sculpture has a different theme. This is the beginning of “Turtle Reef” inside Stingray Hideaway, it will feature sea turtles, stingrays and many more aquatic animals. Each sculpture will also include a shark, signifying #SharkSummer.

Shark Capital of the Midwest
Guests can journey through the aquarium, discovering what makes this Tri-State gem the shark capital of the Midwest. See sharks like never before when you “dare to cross” Shark Bridge over the open waters of the 385,000-gallon Surrounded by Sharks exhibit. Touch five different species of sharks in Shark Central. Then, get nose-to-nose with sharks when they swim next to you and above you as you venture through more than 80 feet of acrylic tunnels.

Sand sculptor, Damon Farmer, references some of his inspiration as he sculpts a shark on top of this sand sculpture.

#SharkSummer is the perfect time to visit with extended hours, Newport Aquarium is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily until August 31. The 1 Kid FREE offer is available during select dates and times until September 8, and tickets must be purchased online.

Celebrate #SharkSummer and Meet a Baby Shark at Newport Aquarium

NEWPORT, Ky. — Just when you thought you got the “Baby Shark” song out of your head, it’s time to celebrate Shark Summer at Newport Aquarium, with a brand new baby shark! The Shark Capital of the Midwest is kicking off the summer season and Memorial Day weekend with free kid’s admission and a fintastic event celebrating sharks! During #SharkSummer, guests will get the opportunity to journey through the aquarium, discovering fun shark facts and shark related exhibits around every corner. They’ll even get to touch sharks in Shark Central.   Plus, Sundays through Fridays, one kid (ages 2-12) gets in free after 4 p.m. with the purchase of a full-priced adult ticket. This offer is available for a very limited time only from May 26 to July 21 and must be purchased online at NewportAquarium.com.

SharkSummer_BabyShark_1080New Baby Shark
Newport Aquarium is excited to announce a baby epaulette shark, born at Newport Aquarium, will be on exhibit for the first time ever during Shark Summer! Guests will also get a chance to help name the baby shark this summer. Once grown, the epaulette shark will follow in her parents’ “fin-prints” and become an ambassador for her species through the WAVE Foundation’s Wave on Wheels community outreach efforts. In the meantime, guests can watch her grow up in her new home inside the Seahorses gallery.

Extended Summer Hours
Just in time for summer, Newport Aquarium is extending its summer hours and will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily between May 25 and August 31.

Two Summers of Fun with an Annual Pass
For a limited time only, guests will get two extra months free when they purchase an Annual Pass.  That’s 14 months of fun and discovery for the price of 12 months, plus exclusive Passholder events, bring a friend free days and additional savings throughout the year. Plus, be the first to know about VIP experiences as Newport Aquarium celebrates its 20th anniversary all year long.02SharkSummerLogoWithSurfBoards_PNG - Copy

#SharkSummer
With extra time and free kid’s admission, guests have the opportunity to visit Newport Aquarium for Shark Summer, which runs May 26 to July 21. See sharks like never before when you cross over the open waters of the 385,000-gallon Surrounded by Sharks exhibit on Shark Bridge. Experience what it feels like to touch five different species in Shark Central. Then, get nose-to-nose with sharks when they swim next to you and above you as you venture through more than 80 feet of acrylic tunnels.

Shark-Infested Activities during #SharkSummer

Shark Nursery – See shark eggs from three different species of sharks. Guests will have the opportunity to see the early stages of life as a baby shark grows in the egg.

Shark Bridge – More than 3 million thrill-seekers have dared to cross Shark Bridge! Included with admission, Shark Bridge is a 75-foot-long rope bridge suspended just inches above nearly two dozen sharks.

Shark Talks and Dive Shows – Guests catch their first and largest views of shark rays and sharks in Shark Ray Bay Theater. Divers take questions from the audience about the biology and conservation of sharks and other animals found inside the huge habitat.

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Explore the tunnels, and be Surrounded by Sharks!

Shark Tank Feed – Guests can watch biologists feed the sharks and shark rays from either the Shark Ray Bay Theater, Surrounded by Sharks tunnels or through a biologist’s point-of-view from the Shark Tank Overlook.

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Guests can touch more than a dozen different sharks in Shark Central.

Touch Sharks – Inside Shark Central, guests have the opportunity to touch more than a dozen kelp forest sharks including Japanese bullhead sharks, Port Jackson, Leopard Catshark and Striped Catshark species. An Animal Experience Specialist teaches guests the proper technique to touch sharks and helps them understand each species in this international collection.

For more information, visit NewportAquarium.com or call 800-406-FISH (3474).

Newport Aquarium Named One of Top Aquariums in the Country

NEWPORT, Ky. — Newport Aquarium was just named one of USA Today’s 10 Best Aquariums in the country. A panel of experts in zoo and family travel nominated the aquarium into the top 20, and thanks to thousands of fans who voted for their favorite, Newport Aquarium came in at #6.Newport-Aquarium_54_990x660

Newport Aquarium is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, with a year full of announcements and new exhibits. The 20th anniversary year kicked off with the opening of Jim Henson’s Splash and Bubbles Reeftown AdventureFreshwater Falls just opened in April, and features dozens of species of plants and animals among 13 tanks. Highlights of the new exhibit include a cross section of a cascading stream and waterfall both bursting with aquatic life. A trip through a tunnel will give nature lovers a look beneath the breaking surface of a Kentucky waterfall at a habitat that often goes unseen.Freshwater Falls Family 2

Aquariums put us face to fin with aquatic life from the world’s oceans, lakes and waterways in a fun and educational setting. The best aquariums also play a vital role in animal conservation by taking part in rescue efforts and advocating for the environmental health of our oceans. Newport Aquarium is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and nominated by a panel of 10Best experts, representing the best in North America for high quality exhibits and visitor interactions.grandparents

To learn more about Freshwater Falls, and to follow more announcements for Newport Aquarium’s 20th Anniversary, visit NewportAquarium.com.

New Freshwater Falls Exhibit Now Open at Newport Aquarium

NEWPORT, Ky. — A new exhibit is now open to the public at Newport Aquarium. Freshwater Falls lets guests take a peek at what lies below the rippling surface of cascading streams and waterfalls around the world. The exhibit includes several species never before seen at Newport Aquarium including a pair of eastern hellbenders, large aquatic salamanders who breathe through pores in their skin. The new exhibit is in dedication to the aquarium’s 20th Anniversary which is being celebrated this year.Freshwater Falls Now Open

Freshwater Falls features dozens of species of plants and animals among 13 tanks. Highlights of the new exhibit include a cross section of a cascading stream and waterfall both bursting with aquatic life. A trip through a tunnel will give nature lovers a look beneath the breaking surface of a Kentucky waterfall at a habitat that often goes unseen.

Cascading Stream:
See into a cross section of a cascading stream through the Congo. Discover animals like the West African lungfish, which walks on four fins and breathes air, and the elephantnose fish that finds food with an electric current in its long nose.

Freshwater Falls

Discover animals like the West African lungfish, which walks on four fins and breathes air, and the elephantnose fish that finds food with an electric current in its long nose.

 

Waterfall Cross Section:
Peer into a cross section of a Central American waterfall, home to a diverse collection of cichlids. These brightly colored fish come in countless sizes and shapes and are known for their social structure and being very attentive parents.

Freshwater Falls Family 2

Beneath the Falls:
Enter the first tunnel of the aquarium and experience what it’s like to be underwater beneath a Kentucky waterfall. See fish like bass, black crappie and perch as you’ve never seen them before amid the turbulent, bubbling waters.

To learn more about Freshwater Falls, and to follow more announcements for Newport Aquarium’s 20th Anniversary, visit NewportAquarium.com.

Freshwater Falls Exhibit Opening at Newport Aquarium in April

NEWPORT, Ky. — As part of its 20th anniversary celebration, Newport Aquarium announced today they will be opening a new exhibit this spring. Freshwater Falls will let guests take a peek at what lies below the rippling surface of cascading streams and waterfalls around the world.FreshwaterFalls_ComingApril2019_640x300

“There’s nothing more soothing than the sound of water cascading down a stream and nothing more invigorating than the roaring rush of a waterfall,” said Eric Rose, Newport Aquarium’s Executive Director. “The movement of the water draws us to these places but the rippling surface often hides the real wonder that lies beneath.”

Freshwater Falls will feature dozens of species of plants and animals among 13 tanks. Highlights of the new exhibit include a cross section of a cascading stream and waterfall both bursting with aquatic life. A trip through a tunnel will give nature lovers a look beneath the breaking surface of a Kentucky waterfall at a habitat that often goes unseen.

NPAQ_FreshwaterFalls2019_CascadingTankRendering

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Cascading Stream:
See into a cross section of a cascading stream through the Congo. Discover animals like the West African lungfish, which walks on four fins and breathes air, and the elephantnose fish that finds food with an electric current in its long nose.

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The West African lungfish can breathe air.

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The elephantnose fish has electroreceptors used for finding food and navigation.

 

Waterfall Cross Section:
Peer into a cross section of a Central American waterfall, home to a diverse collection of cichlids. These brightly colored fish come in countless sizes and shapes and are known for their social structure and being very attentive parents.

Beneath the Falls:
Enter the first tunnel of the aquarium and experience what it’s like to be underwater beneath a Kentucky waterfall. See fish like bass, black crappie and perch as you’ve never seen them before amid the turbulent, bubbling waters.

Special Admission Offers:
Through February 24, 2019, all Annual Passes are on sale for just $34.99 when purchased online at NewportAquarium.com. That’s a savings of up to $16. The aquarium is also offering one free child admission with each full price adult through February 28, 2019.

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To learn more about Freshwater Falls, and to follow more announcements for Newport Aquarium’s 20th Anniversary, visit NewportAquarium.com.

 

 

Newport Aquarium Kicks Off 20th Anniversary with Opening of New Exhibit and Free Child Admission Offer

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NEWPORT, Ky. — Newport Aquarium began celebrating their 20th Anniversary today with the opening of a new exhibit, Jim Henson’s Splash and Bubbles Reeftown Adventure. Just in time for winter weather, the new area provides an indoor space for kids to play and learn as they explore environments from the popular PBS KIDS series, Splash and Bubbles. The aquarium has also announced that now through February 28, 2019, families can get one free child admission with each full-price adult ticket.

Jim Henson’s Splash and Bubbles Reeftown Adventure lets kids climb and slide through Coral Cove, a three-level play structure. Families can also visit the Kelp Forest, an entirely new area never before available to guests. There they can color their own fishy friends before setting them loose digitally into the animated world of Splash and Bubbles. As they explore and learn about our One Big Ocean and the animals that call it home, kids can also become a Reeftown Ranger, just like in the show.

“As we start our 20th Anniversary year, it’s inspiring to think about the millions of visitors who have built special connections at Newport Aquarium.” said Eric Rose, Newport Aquarium’s Executive Director. “This new experience gives us even more opportunities to help parents teach their little ones that it’s fun to learn about animals and important to protect our oceans.”

Highlights of the new experience include:

Reeftown Adventure:
Just like Splash and Bubbles do on TV, guests will “Catch a current” as they enter this fun new experience on their way to explore and play in Reeftown, Coral Cove, Kelp Forest and other environments from the show.NPAQ_SnBReeftownAdventures_Entrance_1080

 

Reeftown Ranger:
Kids can learn about the importance of ocean conservation through fun hands-on games as they earn their status as an official “Reeftown Ranger.”
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Kelp Forest:
Parents and kids can color a fish that reflects their own personality. Then, through the magic of technology, they’ll bring their creations to life and watch them swim through the world of Splash and Bubbles, along with popular characters from the show.NPAQ_SnBReeftownAdventures_KelpForest_1080

About Splash and Bubbles:
Splash and Bubbles are the stars of the ocean-themed animated kids’ series of the same name on PBS KIDS. The show encourages children to explore the natural undersea world and features endearing and humorous characters on fun-filled adventures. Splash and Bubbles can be seen on local PBS station, CET. The TV show is co-produced by Herschend Entertainment Studios and the Emmy Award-winning The Jim Henson Company, creators of Sid the Science Kid and Dinosaur Train.

npaq_1kidfree_snb_outdoorposter_20191 Kid Free Offer:
From January 7 to February 28, 2019, Newport Aquarium is offering 1 free child admission with each full-price adult ticket purchased. Advance ticket purchase online is highly recommended to secure your time of entry and is available at NewportAquarium.com. Tickets can also be purchased in advance by calling 800-406-FISH (3474).

To learn more about Jim Henson’s Splash and Bubbles Reeftown Adventure, and to follow more announcements for Newport Aquarium’s 20th Anniversary, visit NewportAquarium.com.

Closing a Door and Opening a Window… With a Beach View!

Farewell Scott Brehob

Newport Aquarium prepares to say so long to one of the longest tenured staff members here. Aquatic Biologist, Scott Brehob has been at the aquarium since the doors opened in the summer of 1999. Scott started out in guest services, selling admission tickets and has advanced through the ranks to become a resident shark expert. Passionate about his work and conservation, now he’s taking his talent to the Gulf Coast where he will continue to be an ambassador for wildlife and wild places.

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“One major thing that I love about working here is educating people about all the amazing animals in our oceans, rivers, and lakes of the world,” Scott said in his Takeover Tuesday post. “I have had the joy of doing this in several different facets. From talking to the guests directly on the front line to caring for the animals and making amazing exhibits as an aquarist.”

Scott became an Aquatic Biologist trainee in 2003. Three short years later, he fulfilled his dream of becoming an official Aquatic Biologist (inspired by the show SeaQuest) and has been inspiring the inner biologist in us all ever since. Often mistaken (by interns) for Charlie Hunnam, it’s hard to miss his ponytail! Whether it was greeting guests on tours, feeding sharks in Shark Central, or giving personal tours behind the scenes, Scott is never shy about sharing his enthusiasm about the animals he takes care of every day.

He took that enthusiasm outside of the aquarium as well, with several reoccurring TV segments, including Wild Wednesdays on Local 12 – most recently showing Jen Dalton baby sharks, and with Nagini the red-tailed boa constrictor on Living Dayton, as well as WLWT and  Fox 19. Scott is not only an amazing biologist, he also cares deeply about educating the public about marine life and why we should care about saving it.

“Everything we strive for is that conservation message. I love these touch tanks because they (guests) can get up close and personal with animals that they would never otherwise see in Kentucky,” Scott told Lyssa High from WTVQ, when she visited Shark Central.

What Scott’s Colleagues are Saying:

“Scott is a perfect example of a dreamer. He knew he wanted to work with sharks at age 7, and never lost focus of achieving that dream. He shares that story sometimes with guests on tours, as inspiration for the kids,” said Sydney Sharer, Newport Aquarium exhibits team member, who has worked with Scott for 18 years.

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This was one of Scott’s very first TV interviews.

“What I am going to miss about Scott is his ability to be available to help with whatever was going on, no matter the hour, be it an animal transport, a tank break down or set up, and anything else that needed to be done,” said fellow biologist, Michelle Fry. “He is a wonderful co-worker and an even better friend who I will miss working with but I am so excited for his new adventure.”

“Scott is like the little brother I’ve always wanted! It’s been fun watching him grow through the years, and watching his passion grow. We have such great memories being out in the ‘Shark Squad,’ the very first shark outreach cart.” said Tina Newberry, marketing manager. Tina has worked with Scott for 14 years.

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“I have learned so much from Scott and appreciate all the struggles, holidays, diving, transport trips, presentations, feeds, training sessions, inventive MacGyver moments, and much much more. Love you, brother, and I’m proud to have worked with you.”   – Jen Hazeres, Biologist

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“They’ve taught me a lot on how a team should function, and I definitely am taking that with me,” Scott said. The team of biologists got into the Halloween spirit and welcomed guests to Jurassic Park.

“I’ll miss Scott’s consistent dependability and calm demeanor,” said Jolene Hanna, Animal Health & Quarantine Manager, and Veterinary Technician.

Husbandry

Scott, Jen, and Jolene were part of the original team of biologists that worked closely with the shark rays.

Scott, Jolene, and Jen Hazeres were the three biologists who work with our shark rays the most. “It was such a learning curve with the adults and pups. He took everything in stride and was a major part of the success we’ve had with the species,” Jolene said.

“He has held many roles and enriched many of our lives in his time here.  While I am proud and excited for him, I am also saddened.  Scott will be sorely missed,” said Chris Pierson, Newport Aquarium operations director, who has worked with Scott for 17 years. “Having worked with him for so long, and watching him grow and move up to a higher position is very rewarding. We all share in that success. It makes me proud of him.”

“It’s very rewarding for me to see Scott grow in multiple roles to the leader and professional he has become. His unique personality and captivating presence comes through, showing his love and passion for wildlife and conservation,” said Eric Rose, Newport Aquarium’s Executive Director.

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Chris Pierson and Scott Brehob circa 2005

“As long as I’ve been at Newport so has Scott. I can’t condense my 15 years of working side by side with him down to one story.  We have done countless projects together.  He’s helped me out of some tight situations, usually of my own doing but he was always there to lend a hand,” said Dan Hagley, Newport Aquarium Assistant Curator. “Over the years I’ve learned to lean on Scott for his honesty and perspective on all the complex situations animals have presented us over the years. I’ve seen him grow from “Hottie Scottie” to a mentor for interns and his peers. Scott has left a lasting impression in my life that will always be there and he has left his mark on the Aquarium that will last for years.”

Diver Scott

Scott will be moving to warmer weather and larger bodies of water, as his new adventure is taking him to the Gulf Coast.

Good luck Scott! We will miss you!

Jim Henson’s Splash and Bubbles Reeftown Adventure Opening at Newport Aquarium in January

NEWPORT, Ky. — Newport Aquarium announced plans today to kick off a year full of surprises as it gears up for its 20th anniversary. A new experience, Jim Henson’s Splash and Bubbles Reeftown Adventure will open in January. The new addition for kids and families will kick off a year of surprises including new exhibits, animals, events and more.

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Straight from the TV show to Newport Aquarium, Splash and Bubbles’ Reeftown Adventure will transform the space and expand the footprint of the area between Frog Bog and Stingray Hideaway. Kids can climb and play their way through Coral Cove and become a Reeftown Ranger as they learn about our One Big Ocean and the animals that call it home. The experience will also include the Kelp Forest, a completely new area to guests. Through technology, families can color their own fishy friends and bring them to life in the animated world of Splash and Bubbles.

“We’re inviting our youngest visitors to explore the undersea world of Splash and Bubbles where they can start learning about animals and conservation,” said Eric Rose, Newport Aquarium’s executive director. “And our goal is to show that exploring and learning about the ocean is so much fun!”

Highlights of the new experience include:

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Just like Splash & Bubble do on TV, guests will “Catch a current” as they enter this fun new experience on their way to explore and play in Reeftown, Coral Cove, Kelp Forest and other environments from the show.

Reeftown Adventure:
Just like Splash and Bubbles do on TV, guests will “Catch a current” as they enter this fun new experience on their way to explore and play in Reeftown, Coral Cove, Kelp Forest and other environments from the show.

 

Reeftown Ranger:
Kids can learn about the importance of ocean conservation through fun hands-on games as they earn their status as an official “Reeftown Ranger.”

NPAQ_SnBReeftownAdventures_ReefftownRangerStation_1080

Kids can learn about the importance of ocean conservation through fun hands-on games as they earn their status as an official “Reeftown Ranger.”

Kelp Forest:
Parents and kids can color a fish that reflects their own personality. Then, through the magic of technology, they’ll bring their creations to life and watch them swim through the world of Splash, Bubbles, and other popular characters from the show.

NPAQ_SnBReeftownAdventures_KelpForest_1080

Parents and kids can color a fish that reflects their own personality. Then, through the magic of technology, they’ll bring their creations to life and watch them swim through the world of Splash and Bubbles among popular characters from the show.

About Splash and Bubbles:
Splash and Bubbles are the stars of the ocean-themed animated kids’ series of the same name on PBS. The show encourages children to explore the natural undersea world and features endearing and humorous characters on fun-filled adventures. Splash and Bubbles can be seen on local PBS station, CET. The TV show is co-produced by Herschend Studios and the Emmy Award winning The Jim Henson Company, creators of Sid the Science Kid and Dinosaur Train.

Annual Pass Deal:
From November 1 to December 31, Newport Aquarium is offering Annual Passes on a “Buy 3, Get 1 Free” sale. Annual Passes are valid for one year from the date of purchase, so guests can use them this year to experience Scuba Santa’s Water Wonderland. Passes are also valid into next year, to enjoy all the new surprises coming for Newport Aquarium’s 20th Anniversary. Annual Passes can be purchased at NewportAquarium.com or by calling 800-406-FISH (3474).

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To learn more about Jim Henson’s Splash and Bubbles Reeftown Adventure, and to follow more announcements for Newport Aquarium’s 20th Anniversary, visit NewportAquarium.com.

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 Newport Aquarium, named one of the top 10 U.S. aquariums in 2017 by USA Today’s 10Best.com, one of the top U.S. aquariums in 2016 by Leisure Group Travel, and 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.

 

 

 

 

Newport Aquarium Joins National Push to Take #FirstStep to Cut Plastic Pollution

Twenty-two top aquariums across the United States – Including Newport Aquarium – have already eliminated 5 million straws in their coordinated campaign to reduce sources of plastic pollution. Now they’re upping their game by encouraging individuals, businesses and cities around the country to cut back on single-use plastic—starting with plastic straws—by Earth Day 2019.

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Take the first step by pledging to skip plastic straws. Your last straw is the #FirstStep to a plastic-free ocean. Visit: pledge.ourhands.org.

Banding together in a joint #FirstStep to plastic-free waters, the aquariums seek commitments from 500 more businesses, pledges from individuals, and policy action by municipalities, all to reduce a growing source of single-use plastic waste that harms ocean and freshwater wildlife around the world.

The campaign will kick off during #NoStrawNovember, a nationwide movement asking people who don’t need them to refuse plastic straws for 30 days.

“Cutting back on plastic straws doesn’t solve the problem, but it’s an important first step,” said Eric Rose, Newport Aquarium Executive Director. “It gets people thinking and talking about ways they can reduce their reliance on single-use plastic items—and encourages the innovation of ocean-friendly alternatives.”First Step_reef 2

The #FirstStep campaign includes:

  • Recruiting 500 new businesses to partner with aquariums across the country by committing to offer straws only on request, for a total of 1,000 businesses committed by Earth Day 2019
  • An online pledge site (ourhands.org/) where individuals can commit to make the last straw their first step to plastic-free waters
  • Initiatives by partner aquariums to inspire cities in their regions to pass straws-on-request ordinances and other local measures to reduce single-use plastic
  • An opportunity for individuals to get tips via text message on ways to cut back on single-use plastic in their daily lives, by texting SEATURTLE to 49767

Since the 2017 launch of the Aquarium Conservation Partnership (ACP), 22 partner aquariums in 17 states – located on the coasts and in the heartland – have eliminated more than 5 million straws a year, stopped using plastic shopping bags, and have committed to significantly reduce or eliminate plastic beverage bottles by 2020.  Nearly 500 businesses—including United Airlines, the Chicago White Sox, Dignity Health hospitals and Farmer Brothers Coffee—have made plastic-reduction commitments in collaboration with ACP aquariums.Scott ioh-shark

Municipalities in aquarium communities, and California on a statewide basis, have enacted laws either banning single-use plastic from many foodservice operations or requiring businesses to offer plastic straws only when customers request them. ACP partner aquariums are supporting these efforts in a variety of ways.

“There’s new scientific evidence, almost on a weekly basis, about the ways that plastic pollution is harming marine and aquatic wildlife,” said Monterey Bay Aquarium Executive Director Julie Packard. “I find it so encouraging that people are responding quickly to the threat—by changing their habits, and asking businesses and governments to step up and take action.”

“The health of our lakes and rivers is important not only to the wildlife that live there – they are a recreation and economic resource for us all,” said Bridget Coughlin, president and CEO of Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium. “Beyond inspiring the public to take action, it’s our duty to empower businesses and community leaders to raise the issue of plastic pollution taking place in both freshwater and marine habitats, lead by example and make long-lasting, impactful change.”

“A sea change is underway, and people want to do their part to ensure the future of our ocean planet,” said National Aquarium President and Chief Executive Officer John Racanelli. “All 22 of the aquariums that make up the ACP are committed to reducing single-use plastics, and it is now our hope to inspire and serve as a model for other organizations and companies as well as individuals. The reality is that if everyone does their part, we can make a meaningful impact.”

ACP’s initiative has already expanded globally. Its work sparked the European Commission and United Nations Environment Program – with support from five international partners, including ACP – to announce a commitment by European Union Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella at the 5th international “Our Ocean” conference October 29-30 in Bali, Indonesia to coordinate a global coalition of 200 aquariums by 2019 to raise public awareness about plastic pollution.FirstStep_text_penguins

For more information about the #FirstStep campaign or to take the pledge, please visit pledge.ourhands.org/.

 

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About the Aquarium Conservation Partnership

The Aquarium Conservation Partnership (ACP) is a collaboration of 22 U.S. public aquariums in 17 states, all committed to advancing conservation of the world’s ocean, lakes, and rivers through consumer engagement, business leadership, and policy changes.  ACP was founded by Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, Monterey Bay Aquarium in California, and National Aquarium in Baltimore, in collaboration with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. More information at pledge.ourhands.org/.