Aquarium Working to Reduce Plastics Use

You won’t find a plastic straw in your drink at The Florida Aquarium’s Café Ray or be handed a plastic bag when you check out of its gift shop. This isn’t feel-good environmentalism. The measures are part of a comprehensive Aquarium plan to combat a staggeringly pervasive pollutant – plastics – which poses a particular threat to the ocean.   “Plastics never truly go away,” says Debbi Stone, the Aquarium’s vice president of... Read More
at Tuesday, October 10, 2017 | 0 comments

Preparation Key to The Florida Aquarium’s Response to Hurricanes

Scarcely a day after monstrous Hurricane Irma terrified Florida, demolishing sections of the state and leaving most residents without power, The Florida Aquarium opened its doors to the public. Guests line up to enter The Florida Aquarium on Tuesday, Sept. 12 after Hurricane Irma. Revenue concerns did not motivate the drive to get back to business. Prices were dropped to $10 for adults and $5 for children, and parking was free for Tampa Strong Days following the storm. Once Irma... Read More
at Wednesday, September 27, 2017 | 0 comments

Florida Birding and Nature Festival to Celebrate Conservation Triumphs

Given the doom and gloom of so much recent environmental news, it may seem strange the upcoming Florida Birding and Nature Festival will be a celebration. Festival organizer Ann Paul, regional coordinator for Audubon Florida, understands better than most the challenges to be faced. However, she also appreciates how much progress, often overlooked, has been made. So, the October 13-15 festival will remind people that the results of conservation triumphs surround us. Photo: Ann Paul... Read More
at Thursday, August 31, 2017 | 0 comments

Fueled by a Love of Nature, Quinn Uses Art to Teach and Inspire About Conservation

At an age when most people still are trying to launch their careers, Kelly Quinn is ecstatic she’s managed to obtain a position that allows her to pursue her two passions: art and nature. The 22-year-old is The Florida Aquarium’s Artist in Residence. “It is so inspiring to be working at a place where everyone is dedicated to wildlife and conservation,” Quinn says. “What they do here aligns so perfectly with my personal mission to try to connect people to... Read More
at Wednesday, August 23, 2017 | 0 comments

Getting Sea Turtles Back on Their Flippers

The recent return of these two loggerhead turtles to their natural habitat illustrates The Florida Aquarium’s efforts to save threatened sea turtles. There are seven species of sea turtle, and Florida’s coast provides nesting beaches for five of them – the loggerhead, green, leatherback, hawksbill and Kemp’s ridley. The Florida Aquarium’s primary focus is on nursing sick or injured sea turtles back to health. Or, as the Aquarium’s Director of Animal Health Dr. Kathy Heym, puts it,... Read More
Posted by Brian Gallaher at Tuesday, May 9, 2017 | 0 comments

Upcoming Day of Discovery Focuses on Autism Friendly Experiences

In his recent State of the City speech Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn launched an “Autism Friendly Tampa” initiative, pledging that the city would work with the University of South Florida’s Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD) to better meet the needs of residents with autism. It is an admirable undertaking, and one that The Florida Aquarium has pursued for years with USF’s CARD. Buckhorn is wise to similarly commit to serving those with autism, which... Read More
Posted by Brian Gallaher at Wednesday, May 3, 2017 | 0 comments

Volunteers and The Florida Aquarium Share a Special Relationship

This is Volunteer Appreciation Week, which The Florida Aquarium has good cause to celebrate. Manager of Volunteer Services Chelsea Gomez says the 266 active volunteers “interact with guests, care for animals, dive in the exhibits” and are “involved in every single area in The Aquarium.” Perhaps it is a stretch to say the Aquarium, which employs about 220 full and part-time workers, could not function without volunteers, but as Gomez says, “the volunteers make... Read More
Posted by Brian Gallaher at Tuesday, May 2, 2017 | 0 comments