Join the #SaveTheMermaidsChallenge

By: Ric Urban, Senior Biologist

NEWPORT, Ky. — Mermaids are ambassadors for our marine environments and freshwater ecosystems. As they make their way to Newport Aquarium from around the world this week, it is the perfect time to kick-off our #SaveTheMermaidsChallenge. These mythical creatures will be swimming with their freshwater fish friends in the Amazon Tunnel through October 15. They’ll delight guests and share their conservation stories in daily meet-and-greets.

Mermaid Calliope

Mermaid Calliope took a break along the banks of Ohio River. The Ohio River is one of the largest watersheds in our region.

The #SaveTheMermaidsChallenge is one of the ways we bring awareness to the plastics we use every day and how we can work to reduce our dependency of plastics. The mermaids need us! Our oceans need us! Our rivers need us! Mermaids don’t like swimming with plastics.

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Seahorses don’t like swimming with plastic straws, and neither do mermaids.

Newport Aquarium is part of the Aquarium Conservation Partners (ACP) which is a first-of-its-kind collaboration created to increase the collective impact of aquariums on ocean and freshwater conservation. The ACP was founded by Monterey Bay Aquarium, National Aquarium, and Shedd Aquarium. These three major aquariums were joined by Newport Aquarium and 14 other aquariums throughout North America to make a change. Newport Aquarium and its ACP partners are committed to eliminating all plastic straws and single-use bags, and significantly reduce or eliminate plastic beverage bottles by 2020. We first told you about the In Our Hands campaign here on the blog, back in the summer.

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In Our Hands is a consumer campaign of the Aquarium Conservation Partnership (ACP), a coalition of 19 U.S. aquariums taking action together to advance ocean and freshwater conservation.

When you visit Newport Aquarium to see the mermaids, you can share your stories with them in Shark Ray Bay Theater and tell them how you are ‘kicking the plastic’ habit. You can also see them swimming in the Amazon Tunnel, take a selfie with your refillable water bottle and the mermaid!

I have had some time to talk to the mermaids and hear their stories of where they live and the impact of plastic pollution on their underwater environments. Mermaid Coral is the protector of the coral reefs.

Newport Aquarium Mermaids

Mermaid Coral is the protector of the coral reefs.

While talking with her, I discovered the Great Barrier Reef and other coral reefs around the world are dying. The oceans are fun places to swim. Mermaid Coral and her mermaid sisters are entertained by us humans as we jump and play in the sun on the beach. A big problem for the merfolk is we use sunscreens that wash off in the water and harm the coral reefs. Mermaid Coral would like us to start using biodegradable sunscreens that will still protect us but not harm the reefs and the fishes that swim in the oceans.

Mermaid Calliope

Mermaid Calliope is from the Caribbean and does not like plastics. You can’t swim with her if you use plastics.

Mermaid Calliope is from the Caribbean and does not like plastics. You can’t swim with her if you use plastics. She loves metal re-usable straws. They get nice and cold and make her sweet tea “yummy.” Plastic straws are in the Top 10 of plastic debris found on the beaches and in the oceans. Many seabirds and mammals have ingested plastic straws that have harmed them.

Ninety percent of all the trash floating in the oceans is made of plastics. The #SaveTheMermaidsChallenge is our way as leaders and part of the ACP initiatives to reduce sources of plastic pollution in the ocean and freshwater ecosystems.  Our “plastic pollution” problem is not just an ocean problem or a freshwater problem.  Plastic Pollution starts as a land problem!

Join us in the #SaveTheMermaidsChallenge and tag us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, to show how you are reducing your dependency on plastics. Everyone that shares with us will be registered for a raffle to win a “Plastic Free” Newport Aquarium package and a tour of the Newport Aquarium by yours truly.

Let’s take the #SaveTheMermaidsChallenge Together!

Mermaids Return to Newport Aquarium – with Pirates!

NEWPORT, Ky. — Mermaids return to Newport Aquarium to enchant guests September 29 – October 15, and this year they’re bringing pirates with them! Visitors will be amazed when they see mermaids swimming gracefully in the 37-foot long, 120,000-gallon Amazon Tunnel alongside some of the biggest freshwater fish in the world, the arapaima. Mermaids will be swimming from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. every day.Mermaids 2017

Newport Aquarium guests also will have the opportunity to personally meet a mermaid while she’s sitting on her throne inside Shark Ray Bay Theater. Daily mermaid dive and meet-and-greet times are included with regular admission, and guests can visit NewportAquarium.com for more information.

New for 2017- guests will encounter swashbuckling pirates at every turn through their Newport Aquarium adventure and even have the chance to meet a pirate in the aquarium’s newest experience – Stingray Hideaway.

Newport Aquarium Mermaids

Visitors will be greeted by mermaids swimming in the 37-foot long, 120,000-gallon Amazon Tunnel.

“Newport Aquarium’s mermaids are a tradition Cincinnati looks forward to every year,” said Chad Showalter, senior marketing and communications manager at Newport Aquarium. “And this year’s addition of pirates will give guests even more to discover during their adventure.”

Mermaids and Pirates Ball
The festivities kick off with the Mermaids and Pirates Ball on Friday, Sept. 29 at 6 p.m. This after-hours family-friendly costume party includes appetizers and refreshments, dancing, an adventure map and mermaid and pirate-themed activities. There’s also a special mermaid meet-and-greet and much more. Tickets can be purchased online for this signature event.

Mermaids and Pirates Breakfast
Another add-on experience this year is the Mermaids and Pirates Breakfast on Oct. 1, 8, and 15 from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Guests can enjoy breakfast with their families in Newport Aquarium’s Riverside Room. All guests get exclusive access to meet a mermaid and pirate. After breakfast, guests will be invited into the aquarium before it opens to the public.

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

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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.

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

Discover the Wonder of Mermaids at Newport Aquarium Oct. 1 – Oct. 16

Mermaids return to Newport Aquarium to enchant guests October 1 – 16. Visitors will be amazed when they see mermaids swimming gracefully in the 37-foot long, 120,000-gallon Amazon Tunnel alongside some of the biggest freshwater fish in the world, the Arapaima. Mermaids will be swimming from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the week, and 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekends.
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The festivities kick off with the Mermaid & Pirate Ball on Friday, Sept. 30 at 6 p.m. This after-hours family-friendly costume party is the first opportunity for visitors to see the Mermaids at Newport Aquarium in 2016! It includes appetizers and refreshments, dancing, an adventure map and mermaid and pirate-themed activities throughout the aquarium. There’s also a special mermaid meet-and-greet and much more. Tickets can be purchased online for this signature event.

Beginning Saturday, Oct. 1, during daily operating hours, Newport Aquarium guests will have the opportunity to personally meet a mermaid while she’s sitting on her throne inside Shark Ray Bay Theater. Mermaid dive and meet-and-greet times are included with regular admission, and times are subject to change, guests can visit NewportAquarium.com/Mermaids for the latest schedule to plan their visit.

Another add-on experience this year is the Mermaid & Pirate Breakfast on Oct. 2, 9, and 16 from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Guests can enjoy breakfast with their families in Newport Aquarium’s Riverside Room overlooking a spectacular view of the Ohio River and Downtown Cincinnati. After breakfast, guests will be invited into the Aquarium before it opens to the general public. All guests get exclusive access to meet a mermaid up-close and out of the water during a meet-and-greet, and see one swimming in the Amazon Tunnel. Guests will also have the opportunity to meet a pirate during breakfast.

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

Newport Aquarium, named one of the top U.S. aquariums in 2016 by Leisure Group Travel, and 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.

 

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

Weeki Wachee Mermaids return to Newport Aquarium Sept. 25-Oct. 12

Special engagement extended to 18 days for 2015 due to popular demand

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NEWPORT, Ky. — The world-famous Mermaids from Weeki Wachee Springs (Fla.) State Park will return to Greater Cincinnati this fall to enchant Newport Aquarium guests Sept. 25 through Oct. 12.

“The Weeki Wachee Mermaids tremendously enjoyed their visit to Newport Aquarium in 2014,” said John Athanason, spokesperson for Weeki Wachee Springs State Park. “Because of the overwhelmingly positive response we received last year from the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky community, we have extended the Weeki Wachee Mermaids’ visit to 18 days this year, allowing them to engage with even more folks from the region.”

Included with admission to Newport Aquarium, guests will be able to see real-life mermaids clad in colorful fishtailed costumes gracefully glide through the aquarium’s 60,000-gallon Coral Reef tank, which that features nearly 200 aquatic animals and more than 50 species of fish, including a newly added zebra shark, from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily*.

Mermaid collage

Newport Aquarium guests will also have the opportunity to personally meet a mermaid, as well as have their pictures taken in the aquarium’s Shark Ray Bay Theater from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30-3:30 p.m. daily*.

An exclusive event added to the Weeki Wachee Mermaids’ visit to Newport Aquarium is the Mermaid & Pirate Family Ball, an after-hours family-friendly costume party on Sept. 25 that includes appetizers and refreshments, a treasure hunt, dancing and a special mermaid meet-and-greet. Newport Aquarium is giving away a four-pack of tickets to the Mermaid & Pirate Family Ball to one lucky fan who enters its Facebook sweepstakes, which runs Sept. 7-14.

Also new for 2015, Newport Aquarium is offering a combo ticket with BB Riverboats, allowing the public to enjoy a full day of mermaids and pirates for one low price. The Meet the Mermaids, Cruise with the Pirates ticket is for Oct. 9 and includes admission to Newport Aquarium and the Pirates of the Ohio Cruise on the Belle of Cincinnati fleet, as well as a picnic-style buffet lunch in the Aquarium’s award-winning Riverside Room.

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Additional mermaid encounters at Newport Aquarium during the Weeki Wachee Mermaids’ 18-day engagement include Breakfast with a Mermaid on Oct. 4 and Oct. 11.

Tickets are limited for Mermaid & Pirate Family Ball, the Meet the Mermaids, Cruise with the Pirates combo, and Breakfast with a Mermaid are available for purchase at NewportAquarium.com.

The return of the Weeki Wachee Mermaids comes on the heels of their popular 10-day visit to Newport Aquarium in October 2014, which was the 67-year-old institution’s first visit to the Midwest.

The mermaids are travelling from Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, a freshwater spring north of Tampa, Fla., home of underwater mermaid appearances and performances since 1947.

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

*Mermaid dive and meet-and-greet times are subject to change. Check website for schedule.

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

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

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

Newport Aquarium to add North America’s first Shark Bridge

Aquarium’s 2015 exhibits lineup to include – back by popular demand – Otters!


NEWPORT, Ky.
– Newport Aquarium announced Wednesday an exhilarating 2015 lineup of coming attractions, featuring Shark Bridge, the only suspension bridge in North America where guests can walk just inches above nearly two dozen lurking sharks.

Scheduled for a mid-April opening, Shark Bridge is a 100-foot-long, V-shaped rope bridge suspended over the waters of the Surrounded by Sharks exhibit’s 385,000-gallon tank.

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Shark Bridge will be the first of its kind in North America.

Should guests dare to cross, Shark Bridge will offer an exclusive adventure and unique perspective of walking closely atop seven species of sharks, four rare and exotic shark rays, multiple stingrays and more than 300 fish.

Shark Bridge will be a completely new way to experience sharks and a truly one-of-a-kind attraction available nowhere but Newport Aquarium,” said Eric Rose, executive director. “Our diverse collection of sharks is the cornerstone of our more than 90 exhibits, and guests will now be able to experience them like they never have.”

The addition of Shark Bridge will triple the viewing area above the Surrounded by Sharks tank prior to guests exiting the aquarium.

Scalloped Hammerhead Sharks
Coinciding with the opening of Shark Bridge in mid-April, extremely rare scalloped hammerhead sharks will be added to the Surrounded by Sharks exhibit.

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Newport Aquarium will be the first institution in North America to exhibit multiple scalloped hammerhead sharks.

This exhibition of scalloped hammerheads will help communicate the species’ conservation message to the public.

Newport Aquarium is working with field researchers from Hawaii, where the new hammerheads originated, to educate the public about scalloped hammerhead conservation.

The scalloped hammerheads will join 17 other sharks currently in the Surrounded by Sharks exhibit that include sand tiger, zebra, sandbar, blacktip, whitetip and nurse sharks.

Canyon Falls (featuring Otters)
Coming in mid-March, Newport Aquarium will open its newest exhibit, Canyon Falls, which will occupy the area that currently houses the Turtle Canyon exhibit.

Canyon Falls will be the new home to Asian small-clawed otters, which are back by popular demand after the aquarium previously exhibited otters from 2004 to 2013.

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Asian small-clawed otters are returning to Newport Aquarium in mid-March.

Newport Aquarium will offer scheduled otter talks at Canyon Falls that provide guests educational opportunities to learn more about otters and otter conservation.

Other additions to Canyon Falls include two species of lizard never before seen at Newport Aquarium – yellow monitor, a rare and active tree-dwelling lizard from Indonesia, and panther chameleon, one of the most colorful lizards in the world from Madagascar.

Remaining in Canyon Falls will be Thunder, a more than 100-year-old snapping turtle and Newport Aquarium’s oldest resident, as well as the Turtle Corral, where guests have the unique opportunity to touch several species of tortoises.

Weeki Wachee Mermaids
Mermaids from Weeki Wachee Springs, Fla., will return to Newport Aquarium in October. The announcement of their return comes on the heels of their wildly popular 10-day visit to Newport Aquarium in October 2014, which was the 67-year-old institution’s first visit to the Midwest.

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Weeki Wachee Mermaids will make a second engagement at Newport Aquarium in October.

Further details of Weeki Wachee Mermaids returning to Newport Aquarium will be announced on a later date.

Scuba Santa’s® Water Wonderland
A newly reimagined Scuba Santa’s® Water Wonderland will return for its 13th season on Nov. 27. The 2015 edition of Scuba Santa® promises to offer guests new features and experiences. Further details will be provided on a later date.

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A newly re-imagined Scuba Santa’s Water Wonderland will make its debut in November.

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

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

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

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

World-Famous Mermaids to Splash into Newport Aquarium

Special, Limited-Engagement begins Oct. 10 – for 10 days only

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NEWPORT, Ky. – For the first time in the Midwest, the world-famous Weeki Wachee Mermaids will entertain Newport Aquarium guests Oct. 10-19.

Free with Newport Aquarium admission, guests will be able to view a real-life mermaid, clad in a colorful fish-tailed costume, swimming underwater from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. each day. The mermaids will dive in the aquarium’s 60,000-gallon Coral Reef exhibit that features nearly 200 aquatic animals and more than 50 species of fish.

Guests will also be able to personally meet and talk with a mermaid, as well as have their pictures taken in the aquarium’s Shark Ray Bay Theater from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 4 p.m. each day.

(Via Weeki Wachee Springs State Park: Weeki Wachee Mermaids performing to “Mermaid” by Train. Published May 9, 2012. Note: The mermaids are not scheduled to perform choreographed routines at Newport Aquarium.)

“Kids have been entertained by watching mermaids on television and movies their entire lives,” said Chad Showalter, senior marketing manager at Newport Aquarium. “Now they’ll have the opportunity to have an up-close encounter with a real-life mermaid. It’ll be an experience they’ll never forget.”

Additional mermaid encounters at Newport Aquarium will be available throughout the 10-day engagement, including a mermaid-themed Overnight Adventure and Breakfast with a Mermaid. Tickets are limited and details on how to purchase tickets are available on the Newport Aquarium website, NewportAquarium.com.

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The mermaids are travelling from Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, a freshwater spring north of Tampa, Fla., home of underwater mermaid appearances and performances since 1947.

Click here for more information on Weeki Wachee Mermaids at Newport Aquarium, or call toll free 800-406-FISH (3474).

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Newport Aquarium, the No. 1 aquarium in the country according to USA Today’s 10Best.com, 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 in 2014 and 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