The Aquarium’s galleries include Ocean Voyager built by The Home Depot, the world’s largest single aquarium exhibit at 6.3 million gallons. Georgia-Pacific Cold Water Quest, currently home to beluga whales, harbor seals, penguins, and southern sea otters; Southern Company River Scout, featuring piranha, Asian small-clawed otters, American alligators and more; Tropical Diver, showcasing a living coral reef and thousands of colorful fish; and SunTrust Georgia Explorer, featuring animals found in Georgia’s coastal waters.
In 2011, Georgia Aquarium opened its sixth gallery and largest expansion to date, AT&T Dolphin Tales, which offers a large underwater dolphin viewing window and enormous theater space for a live theatrical show featuring dolphins interacting with human actors and singers.
Education is at the Heart of the Aquarium’s Mission
At Georgia Aquarium, education is firmly embedded in the guest experience. Increasing the visitor’s understanding of the many species on exhibit at the Aquarium is a main objective, facilitated through education stations, behind-the-scenes tours, interactive computer kiosks, hands-on touch pools, graphics, engaging videos, and live Q&A with interpreters.
For school groups, an innovative approach to the traditional field trip engages students through activities and behind-the-scenes learning experiences which expand their understanding of the importance of aquatic ecosystems. Developed as an extension of the school classroom, Georgia Aquarium’s educational programs are aligned with Georgia State Performance Standards (GPS) at each grade level, and the facility’s educators are trained to encourage curiosity beyond the classroom. The goal is to inspire students to be good stewards of the environment.
Camp H2O Offers Learning Even When School is Out
To ensure learning about the aquatic world continues even when school isn’t in session, Georgia Aquarium offers day camps at spring break, during the summer months and again during the December holidays. Camp H20 allows campers to experience themed explorations, meet animal trainers and biologists, learn through up-close animal encounters, and see behind-the-scenes areas of the Aquarium where most guests never go.
Summer Camp H20 begins June 11, and is offered each week through June and July for kids in three camp groups: Rising first and second grades, rising third and fourth grades, and rising fifth and sixth grades. Winter Break Camp H20 will be offered in December for two camp groups: current kindergarten through second grade, and current third through fifth grade. For information on H20, call 404-581-4000.
Growing Our Impact in Southeast
Georgia Aquarium’s institutional footprint first expanded in 2008 with the establishment of the Georgia Aquarium Conservation Field Station (GACFS) at Marineland, Florida, which is dedicated to furthering the understanding of dolphins, marine mammals and aquatic species found along our coasts.
In January 2011 Georgia Aquarium expanded once again with the acquisition of the historic Marineland facility south of St. Augustine, Florida. Opened to the public in 1938 as Marine Studios, Marineland became an internationally-known Florida seaside destination by the 1950’s. Today, an updated and modernized facility, recently renamed Marineland Dolphin Adventure, provides a locale for unhurried, immersive human interactions with dolphins in an intimate setting.
Professional Learning a Priority
Georgia Aquarium strives to become a leading facility for aquatic animal conservation and research. By combining field research with the study of animals in its care in a controlled environment, Georgia Aquarium is contributing to the advancement of human knowledge in the area of animal science. The Correll Center for Aquatic Animal Health, the aquarium’s 10,000 square foot, state-of-the-art animal health facility, conducts and leads research on environmental and conservation issues. The Correll Center is a partnership between Georgia Aquarium and the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine. UGA faculty and students research and study at the Correll Center, the first aquatic veterinary teaching hospital integrated into an aquarium.
With its programs and projects now reaching far beyond the limits of its original footprint in Atlanta, Georgia Aquarium is poised to continue furthering the world’s understanding of aquatic animals, even as it educates and inspires more students and guests of all ages each year.