Monday, December 21, 2009

The Green Way to Give Gifts

Choosing the perfect gift during the holidays can prove to be difficult. After debating about the best gift, you may be wondering how environmentally friendly is this present? There are several ways to ensure that your gift is not only putting a smile on someone’s face, but it’s also making the environment happy.

Purchasing gifts locally is an excellent way to reduce your holiday footprint. Buying items from local artisans can help save on shipping and carbon emissions, as well as keep money in the community. Local artwork, jewelry, food products, and other crafts make for unique gifts that are sure to be a big hit!

Making your own gifts is not only a special way to give to your family and friends during the holidays, it’s also rewarding to the environment because it uses less shipping and packaging. The time and effort you put into creating personalized gifts will put smiles on their faces and warmth in their hearts.

Give a gift of experience and adventure! Instead of buying your brother a baseball bat or your friend a candle holder, try a more daring route and purchase them a gift that keeps on giving. Try buying a year-long pass to a National Forest, Aquarium, Zoo, or Kayaking company. These gifts will allow people to connect with nature all year-long!

All of these gift ideas can help secure your name on the “nice list” this year with not only Santa, but Mother Nature as well!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Aquarium Honors Employees

The N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher honored its employees this month by awarding its annual Sea Star and FISH Philosophy™ awards. These awards honor a permanent, temporary or seasonal state or society employee that has gone above and beyond their usual job responsibilities to make the Aquarium a better place to work and visit.

Julie Johnson, an Aquarist Technician in the Husbandry department won the Sea Star award and Special Activities Coordinator Renee Weeks was awarded the FISH Philosophy™ award. Employees are nominated by their peers and are awarded $250 from the N.C. Aquarium Society, a recognition plaque, dinner for two at Sticky Fingers, and recognition in Aquarium News magazine.

FISH Philosophy™ award nominees included: Matt Babineau, Martha Latta, Ginger Black, Tom Coit, Chad Goodson, Bob Griffin, and Doug Noonan. Sea Star award nominees included: Matt Babineau, Terry Bryant, Dennis Doremus, Hap Fatzinger, Doug Noonan, Nancy Peterson, and Tiffany Walker.

The recipient of the Sea Star award is given to an Aquarium employee for outstanding job performance at the Aquarium and service to the community. The recipient of the FISH Philosophy™ award is given to an Aquarium employee who has gone above and beyond to make the Aquarium a better place to work and visit by choosing a positive attitude, making co-workers’ and visitors’ days, playing, and being physically and mentally at work.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

How to Wrap your Holiday up the Sustainable Way

The holidays are filled with all things wrapped; presents, food, cards, or the Hot Wheels™ box that fit your child’s brand new Jeep™ inside…all things that at the end of the day can be recycled. In order to make this holiday season a more sustainable one, here are a few tips:

- Use recycled paper, leftover pieces of fabric or wallpaper, or pictures from a children’s coloring book as gift wrap
- Use old newspapers as a delightful holiday wrapping paper
- Create a gift from a gift; place your holiday present in a tin or nice box that can be used forever
- Save gift wrap, gift bags, and bows each year and reuse them the following year
- When writing tags for presents try using old greeting cards or scrap paper instead of buying new ones each year
- Put leftovers in reusable containers instead of covering all of them with pounds of aluminum foil or plastic wrap
- Make sure to recycle all the cardboard boxes
- Finally….after the living room is filled with wrapping paper mountains make sure to recycle or reuse them instead of throwing them away

Keep these easy tips in mind and make this holiday special for you and the environment.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Aquarium Welcomes New Special Events Assistant and Outreach Coordinator

For two part-time employees at the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher, 2009 was an eventful year. When two full-time positions opened in the departments that Emily Bullock and Jennifer Fiorino were working in, they both jumped at the opportunity to interview. Both openings brought in great potential candidates, and after the interviewing process was completed, the Aquarium was able to offer the positions to Bullock and Fiorino.

When Emily Bullock joined the team at the Aquarium as a special events assistant in 2008, she always hoped the temporary position would become permanent. With the success of the rental program at the Aquarium, management was able to create a full-time, permanent position, paid for out of receipts earned in the rental program. Bullock applied and interviewed for the job, and the Aquarium is proud to announce her appointment to the position. She looks forward to expanding the Aquarium’s rental program.

Jennifer Fiorino has always worked in the environmental education field. After moving to the coastal region of North Carolina in 2008, she was hired as the assistant outreach coordinator at the Aquarium. When the full-time position for outreach coordinator became vacant this fall, Fiorino was excited to apply for the job, which is funded with admission receipts. She plans to continue to take the outreach program to new and exciting heights in the future.

“I’m delighted that we’ve been able to promote two very talented young women into permanent, full-time positions. We know they are going to perform to the highest expectations based on their recent excellent performances as temporary employees at the Aquarium,” says Director Donna Moffitt.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Let's Rock the Boat!

Each year, Encore Magazine holds a "Best of Wilmington" awards. And each year, the Battleship wins "Best Attraction". Let's rock the boat and vote NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher as "Best Attraction".Cast your vote here and thank you for your support!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Ring in the Holidays with Family and Fish

The holidays are fast approaching, and what better way to spend this time of year than at the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher! The Aquarium is offering several events and programs to help get you and the family in the holiday spirit.

“Be a Child During the Holidays” weekend offers everyone, young and old, Aquarium admission at the child’s rate. All visitors to the Aquarium December 12 and 13 will be admitted for $6 each, as a gift from us to you! Special activities include holiday crafts, film screenings of “Mickey’s Magical Christmas”, a puppet show called “Polar Opposites” and Scuba Santa in Cape Fear Shoals. Santa Claus will also be joining the fish filled holiday festivities; visitors will have the chance to take a photo with him during the weekend.

Holiday Elf Camp gives children ages 5-10 years old the opportunity to become Santa’s little helpers! Your elves will be making gifts, wrapping them, meeting other elves, and creating memories at the Aquarium. This fun and educational program gives adults guilt-free time for holiday shopping or relaxation. The program fee of $50 includes Aquarium admission, pizza lunch, snacks, crafts, holiday gift-wrap, and instruction. Each camp offers a different theme of animals. Register early at (910) 458-7468 to get the date you want. Dates for Holiday Elf Camp are:

Saturday, December 5, 2009; 9:00 AM – 3:30 PM – Focus on Freshwater Animals
Saturday, December 12, 2009; 9:00 AM – 3:30 PM – Focus on Brackish Water Animals
Saturday, December 19, 2009; 9:00 AM – 3:30 PM – Focus on Saltwater Animals

The Aquarium is offering a festive twist to the popular Children’s Discovery Time program. Pre-school children create creatures of their own, as well as enjoy story-telling time. Each program offers a diverse animal theme with a holiday touch. The fee for the program is $5 per child. Parents pay admission only. Pre-registration is required. Dates for Children’s Discovery Time are:

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 10:00 AM – Holiday Spiny Skinned Animals
Thursday, December 17, 2009 at 10:00 AM – Holiday Turtles