Here you will find all the information you need to enjoy your member benefits and your insider status to the fullest. Visit this member’s portal for updates on all things membership – from event and exhibit happenings, to habitat and animal updates and more! We thank you for the support of your membership to The Florida Aquarium and our mission to entertain, educate and inspire stewardship of the natural environment.
The Florida Aquarium’s Coral Conservation Team is currently monitoring its staghorn corals for spawning. These corals were spawned at the Aquarium 4 years ago. Last year, the Aquarium observed spawning in the 3 year old sexually reproduced colonies, when it was previously thought that it took 5 years for the corals to mature. This is good news as the earlier these corals can reproduce the more genetically diverse the offspring. Genetic diversity is the key as scientists look to put healthy corals back onto reefs.
Green Moray Eel
Green moray eels are often found occupying cracks in rocks and coral reefs. This species of eel gets their green coloration from a special mucous that covers its body. They have a specialized way of breathing by opening and closing their mouths, effectively moving water over their gills.
Fun Fact: These eels have a symbiotic relationship with fish like neon gobies, who effectively clean dead skin and leftover food particles off them. Some of these fish will even climb into the eel’s mouth for better cleaning abilities.
Staff Spotlight: Rita Coley
As one of The Florida Aquarium’s original employees, Rita Coley is entering her 26th year of employment with the organization.
The housekeeping manager exemplifies Aquarium President-CEO Roger Germann’s goal that every employee, regardless of task, be committed to the Aquarium’s mission to protect and restore the blue planet. She believes “It is so important to know how we can change the environment. I remind my team daily to strive to educate our guests.”
Coley and her team are responsible for keeping The Aquarium in ship-shape, but she stresses that engaging with the public is a key responsibility. “I’m always looking for ways to provide the best customer service possible to our guests.” This kind of consideration is all part of Coley and her team’s daily routine.
“I always emphasize respect and being a team player. You need to respect the people you meet and the people you work with. And you always must remember that all Aquarium employees are part of the same team.”
When Rita first started, she worked in reservations, assigning specific times to tickets to keep crowds manageable. When the Aquarium first opened, it was important to be adaptable. “Whatever needed to be done, you would do it. If you needed to drive a tram, you drove a tram.” Eventually she became housekeeping manager, where her attention to detail and concern for others has helped her excel. “Guest do appreciate what we do. Sometimes they want to give us a tip. But I tell them to put the money in the wishing well that goes to the animals’ care.”
The favorite part of her day, interactions with the young people, “I get a kick out of the kids. They’ll come up to us and say, ‘How’s your day going’?” Most days, Coley can reply her day is going splendidly, “Being able to see the Aquarium from open day to present is really special. I think strong leadership has carried us through.”
Also important is the institutional mission that makes her proud of her job: “The Aquarium always is working on how we can protect environment. We want to make things better.”
Looking for something new to do at home with the kids? We’ve got you covered with a series of how-to craft videos you can do using materials you can find at home! How-to craft videos are perfect for rainy days or stifling heat.
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