Celebrate African Penguin Awareness Day by helping this adorable endangered species

By Madison Wallace, Newport Aquarium PR Aide

NEWPORT, Ky. — If you’ve been to Newport Aquarium, you’ve probably heard about, or even met, one of our beloved African penguins.

Oct. 17 is the perfect day to celebrate these birds with African Penguin Awareness Day, a day dedicated to raising awareness for African penguins and the factors threatening their species.

“African Penguin Awareness Day is an opportunity for us to celebrate these unique birds, along with bringing awareness to their status as an endangered species,” said Ric Urban, chief conservation officer at Newport Aquarium and resident penguin expert.

This international holiday was established by Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB), an organization supported by the WAVE Foundation, Newport Aquarium’s nonprofit partner.

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“The Conductor” by Flickr user Roger Smith. Boulders Penguin Colony, Cape Town, South Africa. https://www.flickr.com/photos/wodjamiff/5467655290/in/photostream/

One of SANCCOB’s most significant projects is known as chick bolstering and involves the rescue, rehabilitation and eventual release of African penguin chicks that have been orphaned or injured.

In the wild, these warm-weather penguins can be found living in colonies on the coastal islands that dot the shore of South Africa and Namibia.

They prefer to eat anchovies, sardines and the occasional mollusk, and generally consume 14 percent of their weight in fish daily; the equivalent of a 150-pound person eating 21 pounds of food a day!

What you may not know is that these adorable, tuxedoed birds are endangered.

In the past century, the population of African penguins has plummeted from several million to roughly 30,000 as a result of pollution, global warming, egg harvesting and overfishing off the coast of southern Africa.

This species needs our help.

“If nothing changes, we could see African penguins disappear completely within the next couple of decades,” said Urban.

With an estimated 1,000 African penguins under professional animal care globally, it’s essential that zoos and aquariums across the world work together to help this species in recovering. Because of their drastic population decline, African penguins were one of the first 10 animals named to the Association of Zoos & Aquariums’ SAFE (Saving Animals From Extinction) program that launched in May 2015.

Newport Aquarium is home to eight African penguins — Paula, Randi, Simon, Sandy, Speckles, Blueberry, Green Bean and Red Pepper — all of whom were hand-raised, allowing them to bond with humans more easily. This makes them ideal for helping to educate the public about their species.

African penguins at Newport Aquarium

The African penguins at Newport Aquarium. (L-R): Speckles, Paula, Red Pepper, Green Bean (back), Simon (back), Sandy, Randi, Blueberry

As ambassador animals for Newport Aquarium, our African penguins aren’t on exhibit, but guests can meet them by going on a Penguin Encounter, which allows guests to interact with these birds in small groups, along with opening up discussion about this threatened species.

“African Penguins are naturally inquisitive and social,” said Urban. “They’re very curious about people, making them amazing outreach animals. It’s almost impossible to see an African penguin waddling around and not smile in response. There’s something about these birds that people just connect to.”

While both Newport Aquarium and the WAVE Foundation have brought awareness to these birds through community outreach, monetary contributions and knowledge exchange, we need your help.

For African Penguin Awareness Day, there are many simple ways for everyone to help the future of these birds:
•    Experience a Penguin Encounter at Newport Aquarium; a portion of Penguin Encounter ticket proceeds directly to SANCCOB
•    Purchase Penguin Artwork (art by penguins, not of penguins) from the WAVE Foundation; a portion of proceeds benefit African penguins
•    Visit SANCCOB’s website and donate directly to the seabird conservation efforts
•    Spend a couple minutes learning about African penguins, and start the conversation with those around you

These penguins need our help every day, but African Penguin Awareness Day is a great place to start.

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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. Newport Aquarium is open to the public 365 days a year and located across the Ohio River from downtown Cincinnati at Newport on the Levee.

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

Nauti Nite, the WAVE Foundation’s largest annual fundraiser, set for Oct. 2 at Newport Aquarium

NEWPORT, Ky. — The WAVE Foundation, an independent nonprofit in partnership with Newport Aquarium, invites the public to paint the night blue for ocean conservation Oct. 2 at the 10th annual Nauti Nite fundraiser presented by PM/PC Direct Inc.

“Nauti Nite is one of the premier fundraisers for conservation in Greater Cincinnati,” said Scott Wingate, the WAVE Foundation’s execute director. “The funds generated during this ‘Party with the Penguins’ help the WAVE Foundation to serve as an advocate for marine life and to educate children throughout the community about the importance of conservation.”

Nauti Nite attendees are encouraged to wear their favorite blue cocktail attire as they celebrate the largest WAVE Foundation fundraiser of the year and party with Newport Aquarium’s adorable, tuxedoed African penguins.

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Proceeds raised from Nauti Nite directly benefit the WAVE Foundation’s education and conservation programs, such as the Finstitute, which serves more than 20,000 students per year through outreach programs, classes and aquarium visits.

Held at Newport Aquarium from 7:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., Nauti Nite will feature local catering, live music, a silent auction and exotic animal encounters, in addition to exclusive after-hours access to the one of the top-rated aquariums in the U.S.

Guests will have the opportunity to explore Newport Aquarium’s more than 90 unique exhibits, observe the beauty of aquatic life, enjoy food and beverages from dozens of Greater Cincinnati’s favorite eateries and listen to live music.

Tickets to Nauti Nite are available at wavefoundation.org for $75 per person, $140 per couple, and include unlimited food and beverages. Newport Aquarium Annual Passholders receive a 20-percent discount on Nauti Nite tickets.

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In 2014, Nauti Nite generated more than $50,000 to further the WAVE Foundation’s mission of promoting the welfare of aquatic life through advocacy, volunteerism and education.

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.

About the WAVE Foundation at Newport Aquarium:
The WAVE Foundation is an independent, educational nonprofit 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 more than 500 dedicated volunteers.

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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, Thomas More College announce marine biology lecture series

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NEWPORT, Ky.Thomas More College and the WAVE Foundation, a nonprofit in partnership with Newport Aquarium, have announced the launch of a new speaker series focused on marine biology and conservation.

Starting Sept. 9 at the award-winning Riverside Room at Newport Aquarium, the Marine Biology & Conservation Lecture Series features an exciting lineup of scientists, educators, explorers and conservationists who will speak on the topic of marine systems and their safeguarding.

“We are very excited about the caliber of speakers for this inaugural year of the lecture series. Each presenter is a renowned expert in the fields of marine biology and conservation and will speak about their ongoing research programs,” said professor Christopher Lorentz, director of TMC’s environmental science program and of the school’s Biology Field Station.

The lecture series is part of Thomas More College’s partnership with Newport Aquarium and the WAVE Foundation, which formally began in August 2014 when the school launched its new marine biology degree program, the first of its kind in the state of Kentucky.

Thomas More College Biology Field Station.

Thomas More College Biology Field Station.

Each lecture includes light appetizers and drinks, live animal encounters and a question-and-answer session.

The first three dates of the series have been confirmed, starting on Sept. 9 with the “Ocean Doctor” David E. Guggenheim, a marine scientist and submarine pilot who navigated the first manned submersible dives into the world’s largest underwater canyons inside the Bering Sea.

The second speaker in the series will be Craig O’Connell on Jan. 20, 2016. O’Connell was featured on several Discovery Channel programs during Shark Week 2015 for his research on the electrosensitivity of hammerhead sharks.

Lucy Hawkes is the third confirmed speaker of the lecture series on May 18, 2016. Hawkes is a physiological ecologist whose work focuses on the costs and drivers of migration in vertebrates using emergent technology.

Tickets for each lecture series are $20 for the public, or $15 for Newport Aquarium Annual Passholders and Thomas More College students. Registration for this event is available at wavefoundation.org/education/lecture-series.

Date Guest Speaker Lecture Theme
Sept. 9, 2015 Dr. David E. Guggenheim Lessons from the Deep: What the Oceans are Telling Us and Why it Matters
Jan. 20, 2016 Dr. Craig O’Connell Living with Sharks
May 18, 2016 Dr. Lucy Hawkes Thirty-Four Years of Tracking Sea Turtles: What We Now Know and How We Can Use it in Conservation

For more information on Newport Aquarium, visit NewportAquarium.com or call toll free 800-406-FISH (3474). Visit thomasmore.edu/marine for more information about the marine biology program at Thomas More College.

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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

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, 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

Today is International Otter Awareness Day

Zoos and Aquariums around the world are raising awareness today that Otters need our help.

Did you know that otters are an ‘indicator species?’ When we see otter populations thriving, that’s an indication that their surrounding habitat is healthy. Unfortunately, of 13 total otter species, nine are declining across the world. Otters are also a ‘keystone species,’ which means they are the key species that hold their ecosystem together. If otters were to vanish, other species could increase and cause an unbalanced environment. This could ultimately lead to the whole ecosystem crashing.

Otter

How Can You Help?
Some of the most common problems we see in otter habitats are from pollution and disease. We can help these issues by carefully selecting cleaning supplies that are washed down the drain and fertilizers that are used in our yards. These chemicals travel throughout watersheds and harm the foods that otters rely on for survival.

Past and current efforts to protect otters have been mostly successful. While several species remain in real danger, the conservation efforts in place right now give us a very good chance to see these cute creatures surviving well into the future.

Asian Small Clawed Otters
Newport Aquarium’s Canyon Falls exhibit features Asian Small Clawed Otters. In their natural habitat, they are found in the mangrove swamps and wetlands in South East Asia, Indonesia and India. When visiting Newport Aquarium, be sure to stop by Canyon Falls to learn more about these animals through zookeeper training sessions or Otter Talks lead by one of our cast members.

Otter Talks

Daily otter talks help Newport Aquarium guests learn more about Asian Small Clawed Otters

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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 to offer special programming during Endangered Species Day weekend

Sand tiger sharks are listed as endangered.

Sand tiger sharks are listed as endangered.

NEWPORT, Ky. — In recognition of Endangered Species Day, Newport Aquarium is offering guests special conservation and education programming, included with admission, throughout the weekend of May 15-17.

Endangered Species Day programming will include interactive Q&A sessions about the survival of African penguins during the Penguin Parade (10:15 a.m. daily), as well as sharks talks from the Shark Ray Bay Theater in between dive shows.

The WAVE Foundation, Newport Aquarium’s nonprofit partner, will have discovery stations located throughout the aquarium, where guests can learn about everyday actions that they can take to help the survival of endangered animals.

Denver, an endangered loggerhead sea turtle, swims in the Surrounded by Sharks exhibit.

Denver, an endangered loggerhead sea turtle, swims in the Surrounded by Sharks exhibit.

Started in 2006 by the U.S. Senate, Endangered Species Day is the third Friday of May each year and designed to raise awareness for the country’s need to protect imperiled wildlife, with an emphasis on success stories of species recovery.

Newport Aquarium’s 16-year anniversary of opening to the public is also on May 15.

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

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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’s conservation efforts honored by Kentucky’s Environmental Quality Commission

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(L-R): Dr. Leonard K. Peters, Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet secretary; Alle Barber (with Paula the penguin), WAVE Foundation at Newport Aquarium program conservation manager; Eric Rose, Newport Aquarium executive director; Halida Hatic, Center for Interfaith Relation director of community relations and keynote speaker; Steve Coleman, Kentucky Environmental Quality Commission chairman.

FRANKFORT, Ky.Newport Aquarium received accolades Friday from the Kentucky Environmental Quality Commission for its environmental conservation efforts during the annual Earth Day Awards ceremony at Berry Hill Mansion.

Earth Day Awards from the EQC recognize individuals and organizations for their extraordinary efforts to enhance and improve environmental quality.

Newport Aquarium was praised for promoting a “Water Story” throughout its exhibits with the goal of educating its guests about the importance of water conservation throughout the world.

“Over 50 percent of the air we breathe is produced by the ocean, so it’s our job at Newport Aquarium to tell people about the importance of water and educate them about the everyday things they can do to help,” said Eric Rose, the aquarium’s executive director. “When guests visit the aquarium, not only do they get to see amazing animals they also get learn about how to help the animals and the environment.”

EQC Chairman Steve Coleman presented the award to Rose, along with Paula the African penguin.

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“EQC is very proud to recognize the contributions of the Newport Aquarium in raising awareness on the importance of our water resources and getting citizens involved in environmental stewardship,” said Coleman.

Kentucky state Rep. Dennis Keene attended the ceremony in support of Newport Aquarium, the largest tourist attraction in his district in Campbell County.

EQC Award  - Dennis Keene, Alle Barber and Eric Rose

(L-R): Kentucky state Rep. Dennis Keene; WAVE Foundation at Newport Aquarium Program Conservation Manager Alle Barber (with Paula the penguin); Newport Aquarium Executive Director Eric Rose.

“I congratulate the Newport Aquarium for its outstanding efforts to educate its visitors on the importance of water quality and conservation efforts to improve the aquatic life in both ocean and fresh water environments,” said Rep. Keene. “This aquarium continues to evolve as both an entertaining tourist attraction and a valuable resource for education and enhanced understanding of our relationship to the world around us. I’m pleased the aquarium’s staff and administration is being recognized for their dedication and thank the Environmental Quality Commission for this opportunity to highlight these insightful educational programs.”

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

About the Environmental Quality Commission
EQC is a seven-member citizen advisory board created under Kentucky state law in 1972. Its mission is to facilitate public dialog on issues, monitor trends and conditions, promote partnerships to improve and protect the environment for future generations. EQC also advises state officials on environmental matters and promotes public awareness, responsibility and positive action toward a healthy environment.

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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

Homeschool Days at Newport Aquarium to return March 9-10

Homeschoolers offered discounted admission, exclusive marine biology classes

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NEWPORT, Ky.Newport Aquarium is offering discounted admission to homeschool students and educators during its Homeschool Days, March 9-10.

Tickets for Homeschool Days are only $11 per person, a savings of nearly 50 percent off compared to the standard admission price of $23 for adults and $15 for children ages 2-12.

Homeschool Days allow homeschoolers grades K-12 the opportunity to enhance their knowledge of marine life and conservation at Newport Aquarium, one of the top aquariums in the country according to Travel Channel and USA Today’s 10Best.com.

The WAVE Foundation, Newport Aquarium’s nonprofit partner, will offer courses through its Finstititute Classroom Experience to supplement the educational experience of exploring Newport Aquarium’s more than 90 exhibits.

Courses through the Finstititute Classroom Experience – which are available for $4 a person, per class – include:

Serious About Sharks (9:15 a.m. each day): Students receive exclusive access to the Shark Ray Bay Theater, before the aquarium opens to the public, to learn all about sharks in a 30-minute class.

Scales and Tails (10:15 a.m. each day): Students learn about reptiles while experiencing live animal encounters during this 45-minute class.

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Backstage Animal Experiences, where guests get an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the aquarium, are also available to Homeschool Days participants at a discounted rate of $5, a 67-percent discount off the standard price.

Homeschool Days tickets must be ordered through a registration form available at NewportAquarium.com. Registration for Homeschool Days must be completed by March 4. Please call 859-815-1423 for additional registration information.

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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

How to Celebrate World Oceans Day and Raise Ocean Conservation Awareness

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Sunday, June 8, 2014 is World Oceans Day. As an accredited member of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA), the nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, animal welfare, education, science, and recreation, Newport Aquarium wants to help spread the word about ocean conservation.

The following is a list of actions you can take to help celebrate World Oceans Day (provided by the AZA)!

Visit an AZA-accredited Aquarium or Zoo – Every time you visit your local aquarium or zoo you are helping to support conservation projects locally and worldwide.  Ask staff how you can help contribute to conservation.  Find the aquarium or zoo near you.

Donate Your Time And Money – Volunteer to help the AZA-accredited aquarium or zoo near you. Participate in a beach clean up or attend a similar ocean-saving event.  Your commitment is the most valuable thing you can contribute to help conserve the ocean.

Tell Your Friends! – Educate others about the importance of ocean conservation and what they can do to help.  You can start by liking the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and Animals Inc. by AZA on Facebook.

Make Smart Seafood Choices – Seafood species are in trouble. Overfishing, bycatch, habitat damage, and the establishment of fish farms, have created problems for many aquatic species.  You can make a difference with your purchasing power by buying seafood harvested sustainably.   Learn more with the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program.

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Conserve Water – Although many North Americans have easy, regular access to water, it is a scarce resource in many parts of the world and is being used up more quickly than natural processes can replenish it.  The less water we use, the less runoff and wastewater will pollute our ocean.  Fix leaky faucets, turn off the tap when you brush your teeth, and keep your showers short.

Reduce marine debris by eliminating junk mail.

Selfie for the sea – Show the world that you are part of the growing movement of people taking personal action for our ocean, take a selfie showing how you’re helping the ocean or make a promise, and post with #WorldOceansDay! Learn more: http://WorldOceansDay.org/promise.

Reduce Your Carbon Footprint – The energy we use creates emissions that contribute to global climate change and adverse effects on the ocean, such as acidification, sea level rise and threats to marine mammals like polar bears. Leave your car at home and opt for public transportation, or, where possible, cycle to your destination.  Use energy saving light bulbs and turn off the lights when you leave a room.  Learn how aquariums and zoos are doing their part.

Obtain a renewable energy credit to help combat ocean acidification.

Keep Your Watershed Clean – A watershed is the area of land where rain and snow-melt drains downhill into rivers and lakes, and eventually to the sea.  Trash and chemicals in a watershed flow to the ocean.  Help keep your watershed clean.  Don’t litter, and dispose of trash properly.  Check with your local aquarium or zoo to volunteer to help with clean up efforts at beaches, rivers, lakes, and other watershed areas!

Limit Chemical Usage – Chemicals that find their way into water sources eventually find their way to sea, where they harm animals and damage ocean habitats.  Purchase organic produce, limit the use of chemicals in your home activities and make sure you dispose of oil, outdated medicines, and other toxic household products safely.

Oppose The Taiji Drive Fishery – Every year in Taiji, Japan, dolphins are slaughtered by local fishermen.  AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums are against this painful, inhumane practice.  AZA sponsors a campaign to halt Japan’s annual dolphin drive called Act for Dolphins which was launched by a coalition of zoo and aquarium professionals and scientists seeking to raise awareness and bring an end to the Taiji slaughter.

Ditch Plastic – Plastic products harm marine life and habitats.  Keep plastics out of the ocean by using reusable bags at the store and reusable bottles for drinks instead of disposable plastic ones.  Be sure to recycle any plastics that you do use.

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About AZA: Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, animal welfare, education, science, and recreation. AZA is the accrediting body for the top zoos and aquariums in the United States and six other countries. Look for the AZA accreditation logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. The AZA is a leader in saving species and your link to helping animals all over the world. To learn more, visit www.aza.org.

The Ocean Project inspires action to protect our ocean. We help aquariums and other visitor-serving organizations effectively engage with their millions of visitors to create a more sustainable society. The Ocean Project’s network of over 2,000 partner zoos, aquariums, museums (ZAMs) and other conservation organizations is the largest ever developed. We empower our partners with cutting-edge communications research, tools and resources that help ZAMs capture people’s imaginations, create more engaged citizens and communities, and result in a significant impact. The Ocean Project is the lead coordinator of World Oceans Day. More about The Ocean Project can be found at: www.TheOceanProject.org.

World Oceans Day is an opportunity to honor the world’s oceans. No matter where we live, each of us is dependent on a healthy ocean for our survival. Recognized by the United Nations, World Oceans Day is held June 8th of every year. World Oceans Day serves as a global rallying point for raising awareness and promoting personal and community actionin fun and positive ways, leading to a more aware, engaged, and sustainable society, and a healthier ocean and climate. Thanks to people like you, approximately 600 events were held to celebrate World Oceans Day last year and we plan to double that number in 2014! Let’s make this year even better by holding great events, sharing, and spreading the word. Learn more at: www.WorldOceansDay.org

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