Thursday, December 30, 2010

Walk Down the Aisle, Leaving No Footprint Behind


Make your wedding day even more special by putting a smile on Mother Nature’s face while celebrating your big day! Creating a green wedding is simple, fun, rewarding, and will allow you to take your first steps as a married couple without leaving a large footprint on the Earth. Below are a few tips on how to make your wedding more environmentally friendly:

~ Flowers: Flowers are transported long distances or flown in for weddings. To reduce the amount of fossil fuels used to create the perfect bouquet, try using flowers and greeneryfrom family and friend’s gardens. Using flowers from a relative or friend’s garden will not only keep the cost of your flowers down and give your flowers a special meaning; it will also help reduce the environmental impact of your special day.

~ The Vehicle: Limousines can guzzle gas by the minute, opting to use an older car that has been converted to diesel fuel is an excellent idea to spice up your wedding day and help fight gas emissions. Try renting a vintage car, such as a Mercedes or Bentley, which will keep you looking luxurious but minimize your effect on the planet.

~ Invitations: Invitations are a necessity, but why waste paper when you can create your own personalized website for people to learn all about your impending nuptials? Another idea to help save on paper involves using recycled paper and using the back of the invitation as the envelope. Websites such as recycledpaper.com offer several options for recycled paper. Also, use soy and vegetable oil based ink instead of regular ink to help reduce the amount of petroleum used in your wedding planning.

~ Food and drinks: Purchase organic, locally sourced foods whenever possible for your big day. Buying local will not only help the small businesses in your area, it will also cut the cost of food transportation. Choose catering options that buy local produce and serve organic products in order to make your event more eco-friendly. Using organically produced foods uses 15% less energy. Serve local beer and wine at the reception, research wineries and breweries in your area and use their products for your special occasion.

~ Dress: The dress is the most important and stressful parts of wedding planning for the bride. Instead of purchasing a new dress, purchase a vintage dress or wear a dress that has been passed down from your family. If you are set on buying a new dress, find companies who use organic fabrics and “peace silk”, which is made from silkworms that live out their life cycle.

~ Gifts: Most couples already have all the household items they need, so many are opting to have guests donate money to their favorite environmental charity. Couples can set up an online account with most charities allowing guests of the wedding to make donations to a chosen organization.

~ Honeymoon: Taking the perfect honeymoon can become expensive and stressful when trying to do research where to go, book flights, hotels, and take vacation time at work; instead of traveling out of the country, research exciting places around the United States that are within driving distance or a short flight from where you live. The United States has amazing and beautiful scenery waiting to be seen on your honeymoon. If you do fly, plant a tree upon your return to offset your fossil fuel use!

~ Ring: The perfect ring does not always have to be new, purchasing a vintage ring or a family heirloom can be just as beautiful and environmentally friendly as well. If you are going to purchase a new ring, make sure to research conflict free diamonds.

~ Confetti: Confetti contains dyes and bleaches which can have harmful environmental effects, try instead throwing linseed or sunflower seeds. As an added bonus, you can send you guests home with seeds they can plant themselves!

By using these environmental wedding tips, you and Mother Nature will be smiling brightly on your wedding day!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Aquarium Hosts Valentine Dinner


Celebrate each other this Valentine’s Day at the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher. “That’s A Moray!” is an exclusive evening for just 26 couples, featuring a four-course dinner, a souvenir photo and dancing while surrounded by the magic of the ocean. Private tables for two will be placed in front of captivating exhibits such as Cape Fear Shoals, Sharktooth Ledge, Hawaiian Fishes, and Moon Jellies.


Couples may reserve the table/exhibit of their choice on a first-come, first-serve basis. For the private or engagement minded couple, one exclusive table boasts its own dining room and personal view of the Cape Fear Shoals Exhibit in the “A Moray” Eel Cave with elegant décor.


The evening’s menu, prepared by Thyme Savor Catering, will feature an appetizer of seasonal fruit, cheese, and crudité vegetables; Caprese salad; and choice of braised beef short ribs in chocolate sauce over red bliss smashed potatoes, Coq au Vin (classic French chicken dish) cooked in red wine with pearl onions, mushrooms and bacon over smashed potatoes or vegetarian entrée of homemade sweet potato gnocchi with julienne roasted vegetables in a champagne sauce. Afterwards, satisfy your sweet tooth with mini pastries. An extended beverage selection will be offered as well.


Afterwards, dance the night away to classic love songs played by Active Entertainment. Spend the night on the island: the Courtyard by Marriott - Carolina Beach (910 458-2030) is offering winter rates for the evening and the Aquarium will shuttle guests to and from this rendezvous point.


“That’s A Moray” is Monday, February 14, 2011 at 6:30 p.m. and dinner will be served at 7:00 p.m. The all-inclusive price is $200-$300 per couple, dependent on table location or $400 for the “A Moray” private dining room. For reservations, call (910) 458-8257, ext: 218 or 202 or email terry.bryant@ncaquariums.com or emily.bullock@ncaquariums.com.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Picture Perfect Event…Under the Sea


Looking for the perfect place to have your dream wedding, holiday party, prom, or other special event? Look no further, the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher is just the place for you! The Aquarium is available for rental during and after-hours. The spacious facility can accommodate up to 250 seated or up to 2,000 strolling guests and your event can be held indoors or outside on the nature inspired garden deck.

Finding the perfect location to hold a wedding or special event can be a time consuming project, which can hinder the planning process from progressing forward. Let the Aquarium’s special events department make it easy for you to host your special event.

The North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher is one of the most enchanting places to hold a fairy tale wedding under the sea or a holiday party sure to have people talking all year long. Your special day will be held among breathtaking fishes and exotic animals that create a magical underwater atmosphere. Guests can be seated in front of the 235,000 gallon Cape Fear Shoals exhibit, which harbors an assortment of magnificent fish and aquatic life. Activities such as, the touch tank or a dive show can be added to make your event even more memorable.

The Aquarium, which was just voted a 2011 “Best of Wedding” vendor by The Knot magazine, is now offering a 10% discount for events everyday other than Saturday. Events held by government agencies, schools, nonprofit organizations, and several other organizations may be eligible for a discount on their rental.

The Aquarium also offers a smaller space for meetings, awards ceremonies, and lectures. Treat your guests to a unique experience as they explore the Aquarium before or after the event is complete.

For more information about renting the Aquarium visit: www.ncaquariums.com/fort-fisher/rent-the-aquarium.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Time for Turtles on the Two’s!


It is time to celebrate turtles…all year long! The NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher will be promoting Partners in Amphibians and Reptiles Conservation’s (PARC) 2011 Year of the Turtle by offering special turtle programs the second day of every month starting on January 2, 2011.

Turtles on the Two’s will focus on turtles, both freshwater and saltwater species. The Aquarium’s feedings, live animal encounters, crafts and educator interactions will look at different aspects of turtle’s lives and will be available throughout the day. Visitors will gain a better understanding about turtles, and see why these shelled animals are so loved at the Aquarium!

The US has more turtle biodiversity than any other country on the planet, but turtle population worldwide have declined up to 40%. Turtles face threats including, habitat loss and degradation, mortality from roads and predators, exotic invasive species and disease, and climate change. PARC, which is an inclusive partnership dedicated to the conservation of reptiles and amphibians believes that citizens, natural resource managers, scientists, and the pet and food and related industries can work together to address issues and to help ensure long-term survival of turtle species and populations. In an effort to raise awareness about turtles and their importance in the world PARC and organizations, such as the Aquarium, will be promoting the Year of the Turtle all year long!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Taking on the Climate


For Megan Ennes, educator at the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher, the environment is always on her mind. While completing her master’s degree at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, Megan decided to create a project that would take on the mysteries of our ever changing climate. She is working with Coastal America and four students from Isaac Bear Early College High School in Wilmington, North Carolina. She and the students have been invited to the Coastal America 3rd Student Summit in Washington D.C. in April where they will present their completed project. For the summit, an action plan associated with the third ocean literacy principle: “The ocean is a major influence on weather and climate” had to be created. Megan’s team focused their project on how the changing climate also impacts the oceans. The team will be looking at unique habitats in the Wilmington area and how they will be affected by sea level rise, changes in precipitation, and other climate related factors.

The team has been on several trips to visit diverse habitats and learn about the threats that each habitat faces. They have toured the Cape Fear River with Wilmington Water Tours, where they talked about sea level rise and salt water intrusion. They met with professors from UNCW to discuss the importance of barrier islands, problems they are facing, climate change, and the importance of the maritime forest on Bald Head Island and what lies ahead for them with the increase in sea level. The group also met with the Cape Fear River Watch to discuss why the river is so vital to the area. The team’s latest trips have been to the Aquarium at Fort Fisher, where they learned about cold stunned sea turtles and different aquatic environments, and to Holly Shelter, where they learned about longleaf pines and endangered species in the area.

All of these trips have been building up the minds of the students whose ultimate plan for this project is to create a video about what climate is, how it might be changing, what impacts we could see in the Wilmington area, and what we can do to help. The film will be premiered after its completion and the ticket sales will benefit a local marsh or estuary, since a healthy habitat is one of the best ways to offset the problems associated with climate that will impact the Wilmington area.

The completed project will be featured at the summit in Washington D.C. in front of 19 other student delegations and members of congress. Following the summit, the students will create a proclamation for Congress about actions they believe is necessary to take in order to manage the problem of climate change.

For the students working on the project, this experience has been an extreme eye-opener. They are learning new information about their local area that they weren’t aware of before. Megan most enjoys seeing the light bulbs turn on in the student’s minds as they go through this journey.

In the end, the project will yield an excellent educational tool for schools to use in an effort to discuss climate change with their students. For further information about the project visit: http://www.capefearstudentsummit.blogpsot.com/ or http://www.capefearstudentsummit.wikispaces.com/.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Nature Swap


Need a reason to get outside? Participate in the N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher’s Nature Swap by first exploring together outside. Do you find objects in nature, such as interesting shells, bones, egg cases, rocks, pine cones and other treasures? If you enjoy exploring natural areas such as beaches and forests, and collecting found treasures, come to the Aquarium to share and swap.


Nature Swap showcases natural objects, such as shark teeth, skulls, and shells. You can learn more about natural objects from Aquarium staff by examining their collection, and by bringing in your own finds. And, you can acquire points for your treasures to use in trade for another item of equal or lesser value. If something rare catches your eye you can accumulate points by bringing different items until the value you cache equals the item of interest.


Nature Swap provides a great excuse to explore outdoors however, you are encouraged to do no damage while collecting treasures, and to follow a few guidelines established by the Aquarium:
~Earn points for each item you bring, for a maximum of 3 items per day.
~Earn extra points for doing some of your own research on the item you found.
~Your item must be cleaned and in good condition.


Acceptable items include:
~Clean bones, antlers, teeth, claws, skullsSnake sheds, eggs, and rattles (found in nature)Sand, interesting rocks, fossils, invertebrate molts, eggs cases, shellsCasts of animal footprintsPreserved plant parts, pine cones


Items the Aquarium won’t accept include:
~Items from the Aquarium grounds
~Bird parts, feathers, eggs, or nests
~Alligator parts or mounts
~Live plants
~Sea turtle parts
~Marine mammal parts


Look for Nature Swap across from the Touch Tank. Aquarium members can participate in Nature Swap again and again with free Aquarium admission. Non-members must pay admission to access Nature Swap for each trade.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Aquarium Comes to You…with a Discount


Can’t find time to make it to the Aquarium? Let it come to you! The NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher is offering a 10% discount for outreach programs held during the months of January and February.

Outreach programs are perfect for schools, civic groups, churches and festivals. Fun filled education programs include live animals, props, costumes, and hands on activities that create a memorable experience for all ages.

Each interactive program is designed specifically to fit your needs based on age, size, and focus of your group. Preschool and daycare programs are designed to foster appreciation of the environment, and are tailored to shorter attention spans. Elementary, middle, and high school programs are created to fit North Carolina state science requirements. Middle and high school programs can be tailored to fit specific curriculum needs. Special needs programs give children with disabilities the opportunity to experience the outdoors without the challenge.

Book an outreach for the months of January or February and receive a 10% discount on your program. New themes have been added to the list of programs, including Jammin’ Jellies and Wild Wetlands. During Jammin’ Jellies participants will learn about one of the most numerous animals in our waters and find out about the important role they play in their ocean habitat. Participants will explore the jelly life cycle through interactive activities and props, and even get to meet some live critters in the Cnidarian family! During the Wild Wetlands program groups will meet some of our North Carolina wetland inhabitants and find out why it is so important to protect this unique habitat. This program includes live wetland animals, such as a wood duck, alligator, snake, turtle, and bullfrog.

For further questions or to book an Outreach program, contact 910-458-8257 ext. 236 or via email at NCAFF.outreach@ncaquariums.com.

Friday, December 10, 2010

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.

Hap Fatzinger, Aquarium curator won the Sea Star award and Exhibits Technician Chad Goodson 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 Carolina Ale House or Jack Mackerels, and recognition in Aquarium News magazine.

FISH™ Philosophy award nominees included: Angie Leary, Emily Bullock, Eric Holtz, Heather Gaunt, Jennifer Metzler-Fiorino, Monica Dudley and Nancy Peterson. Sea Star award nominees included: Chad Goodson, Tom Coit, Jennifer Metzler-Fiorino, Joanne Harcke, Monica Dudley, Suzanne Holtzclaw, Terry Bryant and Terry McNeel.

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.

NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher is located just south of Kure Beach, near the mouth of the Cape Fear River, on U.S. 421. The site is less than a mile from the Fort Fisher ferry terminal. Hours: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm daily (closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s days). Admission: $8 Ages 13-61, $7 Ages 62 and up, $6 Ages 3-12, Free for children 2 and under, NC Aquarium Society members and pre-registered North Carolina school groups. General information: www.ncaquariums.com/fort-fisher.

Photo captain: Award winners Hap Fatzinger on the left and Chad Goodson on the right with Director Donna Moffitt.

Monday, November 29, 2010

That’s a Wrap: Green Style


This holiday season the presents are flowing and the gift wrapping days are near, this year instead of using regular wrapping paper, try these new green ideas!

~ For a shiny look to your gifts try using recycled aluminum foil. Recycled aluminum foil gives your gift a nice green touch, yet still leaves your gift wrapping looking sleek and beautiful. To add an extra flare, tie hemp or recycled yarn around the package!

~Reusable gift bags or shopping bags are an excellent gift wrapping alternative that helps save the environment and you time! Reusable bags can be found at any store and are generally cheaper than wrapping paper. Reusable bags have also become extra stylish, you can now find bags in all different shapes and colors, try finding a bag in the shape of a present!

~One unconventional and modern way to wrap your gifts that not only makes you look awesome, but also helps protect the environment is using old city or topographical maps. Maps are large enough to use as wrapping paper and add extra pizzazz to your gift. Your friends will love this new age and environmentally friendly way to wrap your presents.

~If you plan to top your presents with a beautiful bow this year, try instead a compact florescent light bulb. Give the gift of a reduced carbon footprint and a lower electric bill by tying in a sustainable light bulb!

~Another way to top your gifts without using a bow is to use Mother Nature’s little presents, such as feathers, autumn colored leaves, or shells. Make your holiday gift stand out by placing a natural item on the outside as a present garnish!

~Instead of wrapping your present, use a present to enclose your gifts! Use a mixing bowl or mixer as a gift container to fill with cookbooks and kitchen utensils. Fill a locally painted flower pot with seeds and gardening tools for your friend who loves to garden. Stuff a hiking backpack with items such as reusable water bottles and socks for your family members that love the great outdoors!

~Newspaper may get a bad reputation as being cheap, but this year change the way people look at newspaper wrapping paper by adding images from magazines, comics, your favorite children’s book, or antique books. Not only will this wrapping paper be a friend to the environment, it is sure to get rave reviews from your family and friends!

~If you decide to use wrapping paper, make sure to recycle the paper afterwards at your local recycling center. Make sure to remove the tape from the paper before recycling and check to see if the center accepts wrapping paper.

This holiday put a smile on your friends and family’s faces as well as Mother Nature’s face by using alternative ways to wrap your gifts!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Today is the Day America Recycles!


Today, November 15 is America Recycles Day, a small step that can have lasting effects by making recycling work in your community. America Recycles Day is the only national recognized day dedicated to the promotion of recycling programs in the United States. This day is recognized as a day to inform, educate, and get your community motivated to start recycling! Since 1997 America Recycles Day has been promoting the organization of events to promote recycling, as well as spreading the word about the benefits of recycling. So in honor of America Recycles Day; organize an event or group recycling program in your community, teach a neighbor about the benefits of recycling, and make sure to take the pledge; the pledge to spread the word about saving our environment one recycling container at a time!

The America Recycles Day pledge can be found at: http://www.kab.org/site/PageServer?pagename=ARD_Pledge

Here are a few places to recycle: public recycling at the Moose Lodge, located at 4610 Carolina Beach Rd., Wrightsville Beach Recycling Center, located at 321 Causeway Dr., or contact Green Coast Recycling- at 910-471-7747 for pickup.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Art of Real Life


“A sincere artist is not one who makes a faithful attempt to put on to canvas what is in front of him, but one who tries to create something which is, in itself, a living thing.” This quote by artist William Dobell expresses perfectly the work of art that muralist Scott Nurkin has created at the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher.

For three weeks beginning in October, Nurkin has taken an unnoticed wall on the outside of the Aquarium and turned it into a breathtaking masterpiece. A mural along the conservatory wall in the Aquarium’s garden features a marsh theme, including a blue heron wading in the water and pelicans flying overhead. This masterpiece allows visitors to take a walk through a treasured habitat without actually stepping foot in a marsh. Soon the mural will set the mood for children to play in the natural playground that will be located in front of the artwork.

Nurkin, who was trained in classical painting at the Lorenzo di Medici School in Florence, Italy, credits his talents to Michael Brown, a Chapel Hill muralist whom Nurkin interned with for four years after graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in studio painting and drawing. Nurkin says he has been painting and drawing since he can remember, and has always known art would be a major aspect of his life. In 2004 Nurkin created his company, Nurkin Arts, which provides several areas of art-related services, including murals.

Nurkin credits the environment surrounding the Aquarium as his inspiration for the awe-inspiring mural. Nurkin’s largest muse came after his visit to the salt marsh near the Aquarium. He says, “If the temperature and timing is right, everything in the mural could literally be found within a five mile radius of the Aquarium.”

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Aquarium Director Plans Retirement


After a varied career in state government which began in 1979, Donna Moffitt is relinquishing the helm as director of the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher on December 31. Following tenures in various government departments and divisions including Office of Marine Affairs, Division of Community Assistance and Division of Coastal Management, she joined the Aquarium family in 2004. Interestingly, when the North Carolina Aquariums shifted from Marine Resource Centers to Aquariums in 1986, she was integral in creating the original administrative rules.

Since 2004, Moffitt has weathered everything from new exhibit construction to hurricanes. The Exotic Aquatics gallery, which opened in 2005, brought unusual species like cuttlefish, lionfish and sea snakes from around the world to the Aquarium for the first time. In 2009, the Aquarium’s lobby underwent a major expansion with improved visitor access and a waterfall feature. Luna, a rare albino alligator, also made her home at the Aquarium that year. Under her leadership, Aquarium attendance soared from 403,000 to 445,000, a 10% increase over just six years.

“It has been a pleasure for me to have been director for seven years and to see tangible evidence of how much we’ve accomplished together. This staff does more with less than anywhere I’ve worked. I am excited about what the future holds for the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher, particularly the Aquarium Pier in Carolina Beach,” Moffitt said about her tenure at the Aquarium.

Throughout her career, Moffitt was recognized with numerous awards. She was nominated for the Governor’s Award of Excellence in 1991 and awarded the 1997 Director’s Award of Appreciation. In 2009, the General Federation of Women's Clubs of North Carolina awarded her with a Women of Achievement Award and she was recognized as the April 2009 Aquarium Director of the Month by the Zoo and Aquarium Visitor website.

Moffitt holds a Bachelor’s degree in environmental design and a master’s in landscape architecture from North Carolina State University. She went on to earn her juris doctorate from the School of Law at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She was also a Loeb Fellow in Advanced Environmental Studies at Harvard University.

In her retirement, Moffitt plans to travel more with her husband Tom. She will continue to serve the community as an appointee to the New Hanover Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Supervisors. “My ultimate goal is have lots of time for myself after being in the work force 40 years,” she said with a laugh.

“Donna Moffitt has provided exemplary leadership for the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher. Her vision and ability to energize staff have moved the Aquarium to a world class facility. Donna’s talents will be missed,” NC Aquariums Division Director David Griffin said.

The North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher is a major tourist attraction on the Cape Fear Coast. The other two North Carolina Aquariums are at Pine Knoll Shores along the Crystal Coast, and on Roanoke Island near the Outer Banks. Together, the three rank among the state’s most-visited attractions each year.

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Greener way to a Cleaner Boat


With colder waters moving in many are preparing their boats for hibernation during the winter months. It is suggested that each year boaters power wash and repaint their boats to reduce the amount of algae, barnacles, and other marine life that settle on the bottom of the vessel causing a reduction in fuel efficiency. Although this yearly duty is necessary, it is extremely harmful to the environment. Power-washing a boat not only removes the barnacles and algae, it also removes the old anti-fouling paint, which contains heavy metals including copper that are highly toxic to marine life. The water that drains from the boat during the power-washing process often drains into waterways and other properties. To help reduce the toxic drainage caused from this necessary process, one Wilmington based company has created a system to treat the wastewater and remove the heavy metals.

Clean Marine Solutions developed the Vanish 300 Marina Power Wash Wastewater Treatment and Recycle System, which helps reduce the amount of toxic materials being drained into our waterways and other bodies of water. The company began producing this machine after they received an $84,600 North Carolina Green Business Fund grant. The machine can be purchased by marinas and businesses in the area where boaters bring their vessels to be cleaned.

Currently, Specialty Boat Works in Wilmington is one of the only companies to own the Vanish 300. The business collects the wastewater on a pad and then pumps it into the Vanish 300. The chemicals in the machine break away the heavy metals, which sink to the bottom of the tank and are removed and sent to the landfill. Water that is polluted with copper from power washing is 69,000 times higher than what the federal Clean Water Act allows, with the Vanish 300 this number is reduced down to normally levels. So next time you go to clean your boat, make the green choice!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Return of Trick or Treat Under the Sea


Looking for somewhere to have a spppooo-tacular time for Halloween? Search no further, the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher has just the event for you! The Aquarium will be hosting their most popular event of the year, Trick or Treat Under the Sea on Wednesday, October 27 and Thursday, October 28 from 5:30pm - 8pm.

Trick or Treat Under the Sea offers fun for the whole family! Dress up in costume (no masks for adults, please), rake in the candy and play games with prizes. Enjoy face painting, story-telling, two magic shows per night entitled “Pirates Have Problems” by No Sleeves Magic Camp and haunted gardens. Spooky divers will be haunting the big tank throughout the night!

This year the classrooms will be submarine/deep ocean themed. Visitors can join the Fresh Water Wonders “crew” to play games and win prizes before they dive deep into the ocean. Glow-in-the-dark jellies and other deep sea creatures will be there to hand out treats. This family-friendly room offers a few special tricks and a chance to visit the deep blue sea!

At the end of your experience you will be offered the chance to take the path of ‘scaredom’ through the Haunted Gardens where creatures of the night are waiting to frighten you one last time. An alternative route is also available for families who choose not to take the haunted path.

Tickets are $6 each and 2 and under are free. Tickets can be purchased in advance by calling 910-458-8257 ext. 238 or at the door the night of the event. Umbrella strollers only. Children 16 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Be green and bring your own trick-or-treat bag!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Conserving Coral


Coral reefs are one of the many beauties of the Earth, yet they have been drastically depleted over the years in order to create coral based jewelry and home décor. Coral, which provides homes for fishes as well as provides medicinal compounds that are lifesaving, are fighting to remain healthy and plentiful. A long-term survival campaign has been created by a group of scientists, jewelers, and ocean conservationists who are dedicated to protecting coral. SeaWeb, an ocean-conservation group has created “Too Precious to Wear”, a campaign theme devoted to decreasing the coral trade. Environmental advocate and filmmaker Celine Cousteau places her focus and voice on promoting the benefits of conserving these precious animals. Jewelers such as, Temple St. Clair and Michael Kowalski abide by a “no coral” policy when it comes to their jewelry making. Scientists are working to find ways for coral to thrive and grow with global climate change and our growing ecological footprint. All of these people are fighting to save coral because our oceans are so valuable and we must help sustain the web of life that occurs within it.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Moment to Share


For Linda Kuharcik making art has been a lifelong journey. Since she was a child, Linda has always had the urge to draw and a love for art. Her devotion to the craft is now on display in the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher’s Spadefish Gallery, and will be featured until November.

Linda’s work is mainly representational and showcases various forms of media. Her work features illustrations of buildings and scenes, as well as animals. Her adoration of nature is shown through her photography, which captures wildlife and the environment in its most rare state.

Linda says, “There is beauty everywhere. Photography, as in art captures the feeling of that one moment in time that I experienced, through photography I can share that wonder with someone else.”

Linda believes art is more than photography because she can alter a photograph to match her personal perception. She has recently delved into combined media, where she mixes photography, watercolor, and tissue paper. This process, she says, has allowed her to be freer in the creative process. Linda also uses glass in her art and loves the feeling it brings to the finished product.

Linda says, “I feel great joy when creating something out of what appears to some to be nothing. That’s art.”

The Spadefish Gallery at the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher showcases local artists throughout the year. Artwork that coincides with the Aquarium’s mission of “Inspiring Appreciation and Conservation of North Carolina’s Aquatic Environment” is located on the second floor, near the auditorium. Artwork is available for purchase by contacting the artist.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

It’s Camp Time!


Need something to do with the kids while on their fall break? Sign them up for the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher’s Reptiles and Amphibians AquaCamp! AquaCamp is a day long, fun-filled camp where children can interactively learn about aquatic animals and the environment.

During the Reptiles and Amphibians AquaCamp campers will learn about the similarities and differences between these two types of animals. Campers will get an up close look at reptiles and amphibians including, turtles, salamanders, and alligators. Live animal presentations and more are all part of this exciting program.

Reptiles and Amphibians AquaCamp will be held Thursday, October 14 from 8:30AM - 3:00PM.

This year the Aquarium is offering limited transportation from the Monkey Junction area to and from AquaCamp. Each camp will provide children with a snack. Campers will need to bring a bag lunch. Camp fee is $40.00 per participant. Pre-registration is required. For more information visit our website at www.ncaqauriums.com/fortfisher.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Freaky Friends Are BACK in Town


Get ready for the spookiest time of the year with the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher! The Aquarium’s popular educational Outreach program entitled “Freaky Friends” has returned this year. Meet North Carolina natives, such as snakes and sea urchins, whose costumes and acting skills help them survive the wild. Get up close and personal with a glass lizard and a soft-shelled turtle, which are always a sight to see! Participants will learn about these silly and sometimes spooky creatures through a variety of activities and hands-on experiences.

The Freaky Friends program is available throughout the month of October. The cost for a small group presentation is $100. Outreach programs are perfect for schools, day cares, civic groups, churches and festivals. Each interactive program is designed specifically to fit your needs based on age, size, and focus of your group.

For more information or to book an Outreach visit www.ncaquariums.com/fortfisher/outreach or call the Outreach Coordinator at 910-458-8257 ext. 236.

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Adventures of the Odyssey


The Gulf Coast oil spill has widely affected the ocean’s ecosystem. Numerous organizations are working to clean up the aftermath as well as study the animals and plants that inhabit the waters and surrounding land. Ocean Alliance has been studying the effects of the oil spill on whales and other ocean life. The group has been conducting an ongoing research expedition in the Gulf of Mexico aboard the Odyssey, where a team of scientists have made their way down the east coast from Portland to the Gulf. The team has been collecting biopsy samples from whales to test for ocean contaminants, such as oil and dispersants. The team will remain on the Odyssey for five weeks continuing to collect samples and plan to return in the spring as well as the next several years to collect more to research the contaminants that may work its way through the ecosystem and may not be evident currently.

Ocean Alliance recently created a new website that hosts information about the organization, research they conduct, as well as a blog, which focuses on their current expedition. The blogs are written by their science director, crew members onboard the Odyssey, and a graduate student helping with the program. The blog is an excellent way to stay updated on the team’s efforts and their findings.

Ocean Alliance is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1971. The organization collects data on whales and ocean life, with a special focus on toxicology, behavior, bioacoustics, and genetics. The group works with their scientific partners to inform educators and policy makers on ways to help keep our oceans beautiful. Ocean’s Alliance is concerned with the conservation of whales and all sea life, as well as human impacts on the marine environment. The group believes that conservation should be a ‘State of mind’ and that keeping society informed and active is a prerequisite for positive change involving keeping the oceans clean.

To learn more about Ocean Alliance or to read the Odyssey’s blog visit: http://www.oceanalliance.org/.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Saving Mother Nature One Drop at a Time


Water is a precious resource that people as well as the Earth need to survive. Finding small ways to help conserve water in your household will not only decrease your energy usage, which saves you money, it will also help quench our planet’s thirst. Below is a list of inventive ways to show Mother Nature that you are saving water; she will be so proud!

1. When watering your lawn adjust your sprinklers so that your grass is the only thing being watered, instead of your house, car, sidewalk, and mailbox.


2. To minimize evaporation, water your garden and plants in the morning or late afternoon when the temperate is cooler and there is less sun.


3. Make sure to only run your dishwasher and clothes washer when completely full. Running your dishwasher with only three plates and one cup can use up to 1,000 more gallons of water a month.


4. Instead of planting your garden in the spring when the weather is becoming hot, try planting a garden in the fall when there is more rain and less heat.


5. If you are a big water drinker, keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator instead of running the water for every cup of water you drink.


6. Opt to sweep the leaves and dirt off your driveway instead of hosing the area down to remove the excess debris.


7. When you are cleaning out your fish tanks, provide your plants with a healthy treat and feed them with the old nutrient rich water.


8. Each day allow yourself one drinking glass that can be placed on a towel and reused throughout the day in order to reduce the amount of glasses needing to be washed.


9. If your dishwasher is a newer model, try reducing the amount of rinse time since newer models rinse more efficiently.


10. Wash your clothes in cold water. It will save energy, water, and help keep the color in your clothes.


11. More plants die every day due to over-watering as opposed to under-watering; only water plants when necessary.


12. When filling your glass with ice, a cube may fall on the floor on occasion, instead of throwing the fallen cube in the sink or letting it find its resting place on the ground, use it to water a house plant.

Bonus Tips!

If your workplace does not already have a team in place to discuss ways to make the work environment more eco-friendly, try starting a group or making suggestions on ways your employer can save on water and energy. Above all, share your water conservation tips and ideas with friends, family, neighbors, coworkers, strangers, or maybe just anyone you think needs a water tip of the day!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Visitors Beam over Baby Box Turtles


Baby animals of any kind are sure to put a smile on your face and box turtles are no exception. The NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher has created a new exhibit starring five tiny turtles.

Baby turtles were a popular request from visitors, so Aquarium staff created a permanent exhibit within the existing box turtle exhibit to house the turtles, ranging in age from one to two years old. The baby box turtles are offspring from the adults on exhibit. The eggs were removed from the nest and placed in an incubator to hatch. Otherwise, if the babies hatched on exhibit, they hide so well, it is hard to find them to make sure they eat enough. The juveniles are fed a mix of fruit, vegetables, and turtle gel. They are also fed earth and meal worms for added nutrition.

Box turtles frequently call North Carolina home, and rarely move far after they have found a habitat. Female box turtles lay three to five eggs in a shallow nest dug in moist soil. In early fall or late summer the babies hatch. The Aquarium propagates and raises its own box turtles each year.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

An Eagle Spices Up the Garden



The NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher has added carnivorous plants to its lush gardens thanks to Jacob West, a junior volunteer at the Aquarium. The 40 square foot stone garden was built within the Aquarium’s garden, and houses several types of carnivorous plants.

Jacob West, a senior at Isaac Bear Early College High School in Wilmington, has always loved the Aquarium. This 17-year-old enjoys outdoor hobbies such as scuba diving, which led him to volunteer at the Aquarium for the last two years. During the completion of his Eagle Scout, the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouting program of the Boy Scouts of America, West had to plan and implement a service project that benefits the local community. He knew immediately he wanted to pursue his Eagle project at the Aquarium. After clearing a 100 square foot area in the garden, Jacob constructed the stone garden where the carnivorous plants would be placed.

West is happy with the final outcome. “This new addition is something that visitors to the Aquarium will enjoy. I hope that since carnivorous plants are so special to this area that visitors will take the opportunity to learn about how unique and remarkable these plants are by visiting the garden,” he said. West recently completed all the requirements he needed to receive his Eagle Scout.

The garden now houses several diverse types of carnivorous plants, including yellow and purple pitcher plants, sundews, butterworts, and Venus flytraps, which are endemic to coastal North and South Carolina, mostly in the Wilmington area. Although widespread, carnivorous plants are rare. Carnivorous plants gain some or most of their nutrients from trapping and consuming insects and appear adapted to grow in places where the soil is wet, acidic and poor in nutrients.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Notice of Public Meeting


The N.C. Division of Coastal Management (DCM) has received a request for grant funds from the Aquariums Division of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NCDENR). The request is for monies from DCM’s Public Beach and Coastal Waterfront Access Grant Program to assist with the acquisition of an approximately 18,750 square foot parcel of land at 234 Carolina Beach Avenue North (Parcel No. 3130-65-0927) along the oceanfront in Carolina Beach. The intended future use of the parcel is for construction of an Ocean Educational Fishing Pier.

The Coastal Resources Commission (CRC) will hold a public meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 20 from 6:00 - 7:00 p.m. at the Carolina Beach Town Hall, Council Chambers, to receive written comments for consideration by NCDENR. A representative of the Aquariums Division will make a brief presentation at the beginning of the meeting and answer questions.

This meeting is a “Public Meeting” and not a public hearing per 15A NCAC 07M .0306(g). Although a member of the CRC will be present to receive written comments, please note that the CRC will not act on or decide on the merits of the request. The CRC does not have the authority to approve or deny the N.C. Aquariums’ request; that authority rests with NCDENR per G.S. 113A-134(b).

A copy of the grant application is available for review at the Carolina Beach Town Hall, the N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher, the DCM’s website at www.nccoastalmanagement.net and the Aquariums’ website at www.ncaquariums.com/aquarium-piers/carolina-beach.

Written comments on the CAMA grant application may be submitted via email to Mike.Christenbury@ncdenr.gov or US mail to Mike Christenbury, N.C. Division of Coastal Management, 127 Cardinal Drive Extension, Wilmington, N.C. 28405. Written comments must be received by Friday, Oct. 22 at 5:00 p.m. If you have questions please call Mike Christenbury at (910) 796-7426.

In a related matter, the Town of Carolina Beach and the N.C. Aquariums intend to enter into an official memorandum of agreement (MOA) about funding, development and construction of the Aquarium’s Ocean Educational Fishing Pier. Paper copies will be available for review at the Carolina Beach Town Hall and N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher. An electronic copy of the MOA may be requested from and written comments will be accepted by Tim.Owens@carolinabeach.org and Donna.Moffitt@ncaquariums.com until Friday, Sept. 17 at 5:00 p.m.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Final Summer Camp Day has Arrived!


As the Aquarium bids farewell to summer camp for the year, the ocean explorers reflect on their week of fun, fish, and adventures! Here is what they had to say:

Corbin, "My favorite part of this week was feeding the jellyfish! The jellyfish are clear but when it ate the food you could see the food in it."

Katherine, "The best part of this week was getting to feed the stingrays and seahorses. I learned how to tell the difference between male and female seahorses."

Marybeth, "My favorite thing in the week was going to the beach."

Matthew, "I learned about being a bunch of different types of biologists and fed organisms."

Mary Elizabeth, "The best thing I learned this week was that the Aquarium breeds their own seahorses."

Cameron, "I loved feeding the animals this week! I learned some new things this week."

Daniel, "My favorite thing was seeing the alligator behind the scenes. My second favorite was feeding the shark!"

Spencer, "This week I loved that we got to be animal keepers and my favorite part about that is that we got to watch them feed the sharks."

Charles, "This week my favorite part about being an aquarist was getting to clean the quail and pet Wilson."

Hanz, "This week I learned that being an animal keeper is hard work, but it is also fun!"

Jacob, "My favorite part this week was feeding the stingrays. My group went in front of lots of people and hand fed the cownose rays. This week was a lot of fun!"

Hanna, "Today I learned how to imitate an alligator and quail sound."

Alex, "My favorite part was feeding the stingrays."

Alana, "We learned how much fish are in the big tank."

Summer Campers Feed the Animals!


On the fourth day of Aquarium summer camp the ocean explorers helped feed Aquarium animals. This is what they had to say about their experience:

Corbin, "Today I learned that jellyfish will sometimes lose their stingers. I learned that the Aquarium breeds their own jellyfish."

Marybeth, "Today we went to the beach, then we came back and had lunch. Then we wrote cards and fed the horseshoe crabs."

Alex, "I fed Shad to the catfish, sharks, and Mackeral. I learned that black shark's teeth are fossilized."

Daniel, "Today we fed sharks and catfish! It was awesome! I learned that sharks lose teeth when they eat. It was fun."

Matthew, "Today I learned that you have to be careful when feeding sharks because we got to feed them."

Mary Elizabeth, "Today we fed squid to the stingrays and horseshoe crabs in the touch tank. I learned how to tell a female and a male horseshoe crab apart. Males have little boxing glove pinchers and the girls don't."

Hanz, "I got to feed the stingrays and horseshoe crabs. I learned that horseshoe crabs don't use their pinchers for defense."

Alana, "Today I learned how to feed a stingray."

Katherine, "Today we got to feed the touch tank with the horseshoe crabs and stingrays. The stingrays used their mouths like suction cups to eat, and I learned how to tell a male and female crab apart."

Sophia, "Today I learned how to hold a horseshoe crab."

Charles, "Today I learned that box jellyfish can choose whether or not to sting."

Spencer, "Today we learned that box jellyfish can sting through thin wetsuits and we also got to see the new bonnet head sharks."

Cameron, "Today we went to the beach. We learned that jellyfish can control how they sting their prey. We saw new bonnet head sharks."

Ocean Explorers Become Animal Experts!


On the third day of Aquarium summer camp the Ocean Explorers visited the salt marsh and learned how to feed several different animals. This is what they had to say:

Katherine, "Today we fed the seahorses and the salt marsh exhibit. I learned how to tell the difference between male and female seahorses. We fed the salt marsh exhibit squid, fish flakes, and little pellets. The seahorses got brine shrimp."

Charles, "I observed that rat snakes eat more mice than venomous snakes. I also learned that snakes like to consume their food head first."

Hannah, "I learned that jellyfish eat different stuff."

Matthew, "Today I learned that alligators are good climbers and Squiggles needs a new cage."

Cameron, "I learned that king snakes eat venomous snakes. Snakes like to eat their prey head first."

Spencer, "We learned that they have to work as a team to feed the venomous snakes."

Alex, "I learned that tree frogs can eat their food in less than three seconds."

Jacob, "Today I learned what different kinds of turtles eat. We also learned how fast frogs eat."

Hanz, "Today I learned to tell a boy seahorse from a girl seahorse!"

Daniel, "Today I saw an escaped alligator! It was in a water filter. We also saw frogs, lizards and turtles! It was fun!"

Alana, "Today I got to feed the jellyfish. It was fun."

Corbin, "Today I learned that king snakes eat venomous snakes, and the venom doesn't do anything. I learned that rat snakes eat alot."

Mary Elizabeth, "Today we learned that they breed their own seahorses and how to tell them apart. Then we fed the salt marsh exhibit fish pellets and fish flakes and chopped squid."

Marybeth, "Today we went to the beach. We swam and had fun. Then we came back and had lunch. Then we fed the jellyfish."

Sophia, "I fed the sea nettle jellyfish."

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Day 2 as Animal Keepers


Tuesday brought with it more times helping take care of the animals and more fun learning!

Sophia: We fed the seahorses.

Alana: Today I learned how seahorses eat.

Corbin: We went canoeing to an island. Today I fed fish and learned that when you feed them you can't just put it all in the same place. We made salt water using these big tubs of salt.

Alex: I learned that jellyfish eat by sucking up their food through tentacles.

Daniel: Today I cut up a fish and a bunch of other stuff. I learned that baby jellies can't hurt you and it was fun!

Jacob: Today my group fed jellyfish. First we cut up the fish. Then we put them in a blender and got out all of the water. We took it to the jellyfish and watched them eat.

Charley: Today I learned how to make a batch of saltwater and feed krill to fish.

Spencer: Today I learned as an animal keeper that the sand tiger and sand bar sharks have to be kept in two different tanks.

Cameron: I had a great time canoeing today. I was making salt water and I loved feeding the fish today.

Hannah: Today I learned that brown star fish (sea star) are smaller than other starfish.

Mary Elizabeth: Today we helped the animal keepers feed the snakes mice and fish blood worms. I learned that they get the mice frozen.

Mary Beth: Today we went canoeing. Then we went swimming. Then we came back and had lunch. Then we helped the aquarium keeper. At last, we learned about amphibians and reptiles.

Hanz: Today I learned you can tell a boy blue crab from a girl blue crab!

Katherine: Today we went canoeing and stopped at Zeke's Island and swam. Later we went to the holding tanks and fed the snakes mice.

Matthew: As an animal keeper, I learned how to make a fish smoothie and how to feed jellyfish.

Final week of camp!


This weeks marks the last of Aquarium summer camp for the 2010 season. We welcome new Ocean Explorers and enjoy reading about their first day here:

Sophia: We fed the grouper squid.

Alex: Today my favorite thing was feeding the stingrays. I learned that they suck up their food.

Hanz: Today at camp, I had lots of fun. We got to feed the fish squid and well, fish. I also caught fish at the marsh!

Matthew: Today we did a lot of cool stuff. We went to the salt marsh and tried to go crabbing. We also got to go feed the ray tank. I learned how to feed a stingray.

Alana: I fed fish. I went behind the scenes.

Charles: We helped clean bird cages and went to see Wilson the duck behind the scenes.

Spencer: Today I went behind the scenes and quail holding needed to be cleaned. We also went and met Wilson the duck.

Jacob: Today my group was allowed to feed the stingrays. We fed them dead fish and squid. The cownose stingrays sucked them out of your hand, they felt like mini vacuum cleaners. Then we scattered the extra food. It was a lot of fun.

Katherine: Today at camp we got to feed many different kinds of fish. We fed them squid, chopped fish, and gel pellets. We learned that some fish are more aggressive than others when eating.

Mary Elizabeth: Today at camp we went to the salt marsh and crabbed. Then at 1:00 pm we went with the aquarists to help them feed the fish. It was so cool!

Cameron: Today we went behind the scenes and cleaned out the quail cage. We learned that sea turtles have instincts.

Daniel: I got to feed stingrays, and they eat a squid and fish mix. When they eat out of your hand it feels kind of suction-y. I also had lots of fun.

Mary Beth: Today was a very good day. We played games and had fun. We went to the salt marsh. I got a shrimp, but it got away. Next we had lunch. Then we saw a movie. Then we fed the fish. And we made sand pictures.

Monday, August 9, 2010

A Once in a Lifetime Experience!


On the final day of Animal Keeper summer camp the campers reflected on their week’s events. Although the week has come to a close, the campers are taking away thoughts of new valuable knowledge about how to take care of animals and their homes. Here is what they had to say about their time at Aquarium summer camp:


Emily, “This week I learned about Wilson. He is a duck, a cool duck. And that he lives behind the scenes in the conservatory!”


Jonathan, “Today we went to the rocky outcrop and caught fish and invertebrates.”


Courtney, “My favorite part of the week was Wilson the wood duck. He is really cute.”


Christopher, “My favorite part of today was that we found fish, crabs, and horseshoe crabs.”


Kylee, “My favorite thing I learned this week was how to care for all of the birds in the aquarium.”


Kelsey, “My favorite part was when we went to the beach. Erin and I played a game. It was fun!”


Caitlin, “My favorite thing we did this week was feed the hidden hunter fish in the freshwater area.”


Kailey, “My favorite part of the week was when we got to feed the sea nettles and feed mice to the snakes. I learned that snakes swallow their prey whole.”


Laura, “My favorite part was when I got to feed the rays.”


Wade, “I liked the salt marsh because I saw a snowy egret.”


Erin, “My favorite part of the week was feeding sharks on Monday. It was a once in a lifetime experience.”


William, “My favorite activity of the week was feeding moon jellies to the loggerhead sea turtles.”


Maren, “Today is my last day at camp. So… My favorite part of camp was feeding the sharks on Monday. It was really cool!”


Michael, “The best thing I learned this week is that all animals have different ways of living in the wild.”


Maddie, “My favorite thing this week was holding a moon jellyfish. It felt a lot like real jelly.”

Friday, August 6, 2010

A Day of Sand, Sun, and Feeding Animals


On the fourth day of Animal Keepers Aquarium summer camp the ocean explorers made their way down to the beach to have some fun in the waves. Afterwards, they were back behind the scenes to work like Aquarist. Here is what they had to say about their experience:

Jonathan, "Today we went to the beach again! That was really fun! We also fed some animals, like sea snails, hermit crabs, sea stars, sea urchins, and baby horseshoe crabs! P.s. I caught a bunch of fish at the beach including a really big fish which I called Super Fish!!"

Erin, "What I learned from aquariology was how to feed dead mice to a snake and 'baby sitting' a diamondback terrapin."

William, "Today I got to feed some fish and crabs. They were very cool."

Catlin, "We got to feed jellyfish and loggerhead sea turtles today. I learned that jellyfish suck in their tentacles when eating and digesting."

Kylee, "Today I got to feed all different types of sea creatures. I learned that horseshoe crabs have ten eyes and that sea stars eat squid! It was cool to watch!"

Courtney, "What I learned today is that snapping turtles have really long tails, arms, legs, and heads and they bite really hard."

Maddie, "Today I got to feed moon jellyfish a krill mixture. We also fed three moon jellyfish to loggerhead turtles."

Kelsey, "We fed three mice to a snake. He didn't eat it until we left. After that we cleaned a diamondback terrapin turtle's cage and I got to hold her. She seemed much happier after that."

Wade, "I like to feed the loggerhead sea turtles."

Laura, "Today we got to see a lot of animals."

Maren, "Ok, so today me and my group fed a snake three little mice (they were already dead). Then we cleaned out a turtle's tank, then we fed worms to the baby turtles. The baby turtles were so cute and tiny!"

Emily, "Today I fed mice to a eastern king snake. After that I cleaned a diamondback terrapin turtle's tank. Finally I learned that a diamondback tank needs to be cleaned once a week!"

Chris, "Today we cleaned filters that clean the turtle's tank."

Kailey, "Today behind the scenes we fed different fish some shrimp. We fed squid to the crabs and shrimp to sea stars. We saw a horseshoe crab and got to put the squid in the legs of it. We also saw sea urchins and fed it a gel made out of vegetables and vitamins."

Michael, "Today I cleaned filters and looked at different animals and even saw albino turtles."

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Day Three: The Adventures Continue


On the third day of Animal Keeper summer camp the ocean explorers lived the life of an Aquarist by helping feed the animals and clean out their living spaces. Here is what they had to say about their experience:

Wade, "I learned that rays are sometimes aggressive."

Michael, "Today I watched the snakes eat the mice and rats. It was cool. I learned that snakes eat animals whole."

Jonathan, "Today I learned how to feed jellyfish to the turtles!! We also went to the beach!"

Maren, "Today me and my group fed some of the fish already on display! It was still awesome!"

Emily, "Today I got to cut up dead fish into little pieces. We fed the fish in the conservatory and shark tooth ledge!"

Kylee, "Today I got to feed sea nettle jellyfish. I also got to feed the three loggerhead sea turtles some moon jellies. It was so cool to watch! I learned that a single polyp can have 15 jellyfish! And that the aquarium keeps their sea turtles a year."

Erin, "Today I got to cut up food for fish. I learned that all fish need to eat their food cut in different ways."

Kailey, "Today behind the scenes we fed jellyfish. I got to hold a moon jelly! It felt like a blob of jelly! We also fed live moon jellies to the sea turtles! I learned that one polyp can hold up to 10-15 jellyfish at a time."

Maddie, "Today I got to chop up food for yellow stingrays. The food felt slimey. I learned that two squids and two fish are enough food for two days."

Caitlin, "We prepared food for the stingrays and fed them today. I learned that sting ray's stingers can grow back after you cut them."

Kelsey, "First we helped chop up some of the food. It was really gooey! Then we fed the catfish, the albino turtle, and one of the big tanks. After that we fed 'Shark Tooth Ledge' again. It was alot of fun!"

William, "Today I got to go and feed jellyfish that turn in a ball when we feed them sea nettles, and I got to pick up a moon jelly. I also got to feed diamondback terrapins moon jellies and they swallowed them whole."

Courtney, "Today we went to see the snakes we fed. I learned that snakes have scales that grip the ground so they can move."

Laura, "Today we watched them feed the snakes and that was cool."

Christopher, "I have learned that snakes digest their food very very slowly and it's really cool!"