Mermaids Arrive at Newport Aquarium

Mermaids are swimming into Newport Aquarium, enchanting guests September 28 through October 14. Guests will get to explore Mermaid Cove, where a mermaid can swim right up and meet them along with their stingray friends. With this new addition, guests will now have three opportunities to see and interact with mermaids throughout Newport Aquarium. Add a couple of pirates, and it’s a swashbuckling good time!

The magical mermaid experience begins in Shark Ray Bay Theater where Newport Aquarium guests will be greeted by a mermaid while she’s sitting on her throne. It’s the perfect photo op, while ocean friends like Denver the sea turtle, Sweet Pea the shark ray and the sand tiger sharks all swim nearby beyond the giant underwater window.

Mermaid Kailua is from the Kona Coast of Hawaii. Where she spent her days swimming along the reefs cleaning invasive algae and cleaning up debris from the human world.

Next stop on the journey to find mermaids is the tropical habitat of the Coral Reef. Visitors will be mesmerized when they see a real-life mermaid swimming gracefully underwater, alongside her tropical fish friends in the 30-foot long, 60,000-gallon Coral Reef Tunnel.

New for 2019 – The mermaids have taken over Stingray Hideaway, and transformed the tropical locale into Mermaid Cove. This unique new interaction allows the mermaid to swim with her stingray friends, show off her glorious tail and talk to guests while they touch the stingrays. With the mermaids visiting from different parts of the world, it’s the perfect spot for them to tell their new friends all about their adventures and how important ocean conservation is for them and all sea life.

“Newport Aquarium’s mermaids are a magical tradition that families look forward to every year,”    said Eric Rose, Executive Director at Newport Aquarium. “Sometimes we forget the magic in our world but when you see the look on a child’s face when they meet a mermaid, it’s undeniable.”

Daily mermaid appearances are included with regular admission, and guests can visit NewportAquarium.com for more information.

Mermaid and Pirate Breakfasts
An add-on experience this year is the Mermaids and Pirates Breakfast on Sept. 9, Oct. 6 and 13 from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Get exclusive access to meet a mermaid and pirate while dining in Newport Aquarium’s Riverside Room with beautiful views of the Cincinnati Skyline and Ohio River. As a bonus, each child will receive a magical piece of treasure to take home during the meet & greet. After breakfast, guests will be invited into the aquarium before it opens to be among the first to see the mermaids swim.

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

 

 

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.

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.

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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.

Scuba Santa’s Water Wonderland Celebrates 16 Years at Newport Aquarium

NEWPORT, Ky. — Just as it’s getting cold and icy outside, experience a taste of the tropics inside Newport Aquarium, as Scuba Santa returns for his 16th year. Newport Aquarium invites the public to experience the Cincinnati holiday tradition under the sea Nov. 23 – Dec. 31 at Scuba Santa’s Water Wonderland.NPAQ_ScubaSanta_HR_2015_Steve_Ziegelmeyer-8386-REVISED

Imagine, walking up to the 385,000 gallon Surrounded by Sharks tank, watching sharks swimming all around, and being greeted by Scuba Santa who knows your child’s name. Scuba Santa’s friendly elves also welcome guests to Shark Ray Bay Theater throughout the holiday season. Whether it’s singing along to the “12 Days of Christmas,” dancing playfully in the theater amid colorful holiday lights, or popping bubbles that fall from the ceiling, families are sure to make lasting memories.

“Every year Newport Aquarium transforms into a truly wondrous setting where families can discover the wonder of an undersea holiday celebration,” said Eric Rose, executive director of Newport Aquarium. “It’s the only underwater holiday tradition in Greater Cincinnati, and who wouldn’t want to celebrate the holidays in the tropics? You can at Newport Aquarium!”

The Water Wonderland journey will also take guests through a number of illuminated and holiday-clad galleries, culminating in a truly wondrous experience where families connect and interact with the magic of an undersea holiday celebration:

  • Shark Ray Bay Theater – Guests will be surrounded by lights, bubbles and holiday music as they join Scuba Santa’s elves in song and discover how some of Newport Aquarium’s most iconic animals celebrate holidays under the sea. Children will have the unique opportunity to meet Scuba Santa® one-on-one, as he dives inside the 385,000-gallon Surrounded by Sharks tank, and tell him their holiday wishes.
  • Seahorses: Unbridled Fun – Hundreds of twinkling sea-creature lights will hang from the ceiling of the Seahorses: Unbridled Fun exhibit over some of nature’s most amazing creatures, including pipefish and several different species of seahorses.
  • Stingray Hideaway – Visit the tropical paradise getaway where Scuba Santa goes to relax after the busy holiday season. His elves are already there decorating with festive tropical decor ready to welcome guests to Stingray Hideaway. Plus, guests can interact with and touch two dozen stingrays in the 17,000-gallon stingray touchpool, while enjoying the tropical holiday oasis.
  • Gator Alley – Honky-tonk holiday lighting, music and decorations welcome guests at Gator Alley, the home of Snowball and Snowflake, two of less than 100 rare white alligators in the world.
  • Kroger Penguin Palooza – Children can write their holiday wish on a magic bubble and mail it at Scuba Santa’s Post Office inside Kroger Penguin Palooza, where five species of cold-weather penguins – a total of nearly 50 birds spread their own brand of holiday cheer.

* Scuba Santa® will not be diving on Christmas Day – he will be resting after a busy night traveling to homes all around the world.

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Buy 3, Get 1 FREE Annual Pass Sale: In time for the holidays, guests who purchase three Newport Aquarium Annual Passes will receive a fourth Annual Pass FREE. The Annual Pass Holiday Special ends on Dec. 31. Annual Passes are valid for one year from the date of purchase, so guests can use them now 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.

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

 

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/.

Mighty Farewell: Famous Alligator Saying Goodbye to Newport Aquarium

NEWPORT, Ky. — After five years, wowing millions of people at Newport Aquarium, Mighty Mike, the largest American Alligator outside of Florida, is preparing to head back to the Sunshine State this summer.GoodbyeMightyMike_640x300

At 14 feet long and 800 pounds, Mighty Mike’s size makes it clear that he is truly a living dinosaur. Alligators have been around for 250 million years and seeing Mighty Mike up close reveals how these powerful creatures have survived so long. With his enormous teeth and muscular tail, this is one creature you may not want to come across in the wild, which makes it all the more important for the public to get to meet animal ambassadors like Mighty Mike.DSC_7713

Wowing guests with his amazing size, Mighty Mike has built connections with guests that will stay with them forever. “Getting the public to understand and appreciate these animals has been a critical factor in helping the American alligator achieve sustainable populations after being listed as endangered for decades,” said Eric Rose, Executive Director at Newport Aquarium. “We’re grateful to the Crocodilian Conservation Center and to our world-class animal care team for keeping Mike happy and healthy all these years, and to all the guests who’ve come to see him.”

Mighty Mike is going back home to the Crocodilian Conservation Center in Florida, where he will continue to share an important conservation message as an ambassador for wetlands habitat and preservation. He will create opportunities for others to care more about watersheds and ecosystems around them.Gator2

The last chance to see this living dinosaur at Newport Aquarium is September 9. Fans will have the chance to leave well wishes for Mighty Mike on a banner that will be on display in Gator Alley for the rest of the summer.

One Kid FREE – Extended By Popular Demand
For a very limited time, Newport Aquarium is offering one free child admission with each full price adult. The offer is valid Sundays through Fridays after 4 p.m. and is available exclusively online at NewportAquarium.com

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 Extended Summer Hours
Just for summer, Newport Aquarium is extending its hours and will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily between May 27 and September 2.

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. This offer ends July 22, 2018.

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