Friday, January 28, 2011

Aquarium Honors Volunteers

In 2010, 370 volunteers donated their time, talents and energy to the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher, contributing over 27,000 hours. On January 27th, the Aquarium honored its outstanding volunteers at the annual Volunteer Appreciation and Awards dinner. Volunteers who donate their time in a variety of departments were honored and Dan Bennett, of Wilmington, NC was awarded the Volunteer of the Year award.

Bennett, who works for Ellerbe Phone Company, often spends his vacation days at the Aquarium volunteering his time wherever and whenever needed. From educating visitors about touch tank animals to setting up tables and chairs for an event to dressing up as a sea turtle for a holiday parade float, Bennett ensures every Aquarium visitor, employee and fellow volunteer’s experiences are unforgettable. Volunteer Coordinator Suzanne Holtzclaw says, “Dan Bennett truly exemplifies what the Aquarium stands for and many lives have been enriched by his joy, kindness, and compassion.”

2010 Departmental Volunteer of the Year recipients:
  • Special Events Volunteer of the Year: Donna Budd
  • Operations Volunteer of the Year: Jerry Mayer
  • Horticulture Volunteer of the Year: Elizabeth Tomason
  • Aquariology Volunteer of the Year: Judy Larrick
  • Dive Volunteer of the Year: Harold Wilson
  • Education Volunteer of the Year: Kendyll Goeman
  • Junior Volunteer of the Year: Jacob Rose
  • Volunteer with the Most Hours: Echo Woodsford (500 hours)
*Photo: Volunteer Coordinator Suzanne Holtzclaw with 2010 Volunteer of the Year Dan Bennett

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Save Money, Plant a Tree!

Rent textbooks and save money, all while putting a smile on Mother Nature’s face! On students can sell and rent textbooks for cheaper as well as help restore the environment. For every book you rent, will plant a tree in your honor. Currently over four million trees have been planted. The website allows you to search for the books you need, sell books you no longer use, and save hundreds of dollars; which in most college student’s eyes is a huge bonus! For more information about the website or to rent a textbook and help keep nature beautiful visit

Monday, January 3, 2011

Swapping Nature for Nature

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 reason 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 to bring to the Nature Swap include: clean bones, antlers, teeth, claws, skulls, snake sheds and eggs (found in nature), sand, interesting rocks, fossils, invertebrate molts, eggs cases, shells, casts of animal footprints, preserved plant parts, and pine cones.

Items that the Aquarium will not accept for the Nature Swap program include: objects from the Aquarium grounds, bird parts, feathers, eggs, nests, alligator parts or mounts, live plants, sea turtle parts, or marine mammal parts.

Look for Nature Swap table 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.