NEW ORLEANS (press release) – Audubon Aquarium of the Americas has been inviting guests to marvel in the wonders of the aquatic environments of South, Central, and North America and their adjacent seas, oceans, and rivers for the past 30 years.

Since opening its doors to the public Sept. 1, 1990, the Aquarium has welcomed nearly 30 million visitors, expanded its habitats to include the 4,200-square-foot Great Maya Reef and opened Entergy Giant Screen Theater. Now, the Aquarium is excited to debut Shark Discovery, the shark and ray touchpool opening in the Spring of 2020.

To celebrate this pearl “aquaversary,” Audubon will be asking New Orleanians and visitors to the city to join in the fun all year long with activities such as – ticket giveaways, animal enrichment activities, scavenger hunts, and most importantly, seeking out opportunities to help protect the natural world.

“The Aquarium has meant so much to the people and visitors of the city for the past 30 years, and now we are asking the public to look ahead to the next 30 years and see how they can take action to help make an impact in their everyday lives to make our natural world a better place,” says Vice President and Managing Director of Audubon Aquarium of the Americas Rich Toth.

As part of this “aquaversary” celebration Audubon Aquarium is asking the public to do things such as,

  • Use a reusable coffee cup
  • Bring your own reusable shopping bags to help reduce plastic waste
  • Refuse plastic straws when buying a drink
  • Bring reusable water bottles instead of buying plastic ones

As a member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Audubon Aquarium has supported conservation efforts for many endangered species, including the African penguin. In accordance with the species survival plan, 54 penguin chicks have hatched over the last thirty years. Nine of those chicks remain here in the Aquarium colony. The Aquarium also receive birds from all over the country to keep a genetically diverse population, and in 2000, Audubon sent 15 penguins to the Monterrey Bay Aquarium to open their new penguin habitat.

Five rescued California sea otters have also lived at the Aquarium including the two current otter residents, Ruby and Clara.