Displaying items by tag: aquariums

 

TAMPA, Fla., Friday, May 3, 2019– For the second year in a row, The Florida Aquarium has been nationally recognized as one of North America’s best aquariums, taking the number two spot in USA TODAY’S 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards, up from number three last year. 

A panel of experts selected 20 of the best aquariums in North America, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Nominees were selected for providing a fun and educational setting and high-quality exhibits and visitor interactions, as well as playing a vital role in animal conservation by taking part in rescue efforts and advocating for the health of our oceans.

“The Florida Aquarium is a Tampa gem and a cultural and conservation leader in the region. They understand that their best chapter is yet to be written and this honor is proof that exciting things are in store for them and the city they call home,” said City of Tampa Mayor Jane Castor.

More than 800,000 guests visit The Florida Aquarium every year, making it one of Tampa Bay’s most-attended cultural attractions, and a vital economic contributor. The Aquarium welcomes more than 100,000 students each year, saves sea life across the country—primarily focusing on endangered sea turtle rescue and rehabilitation and coral reef restoration—and has partnered with several community and neighborhood organizations. Recently the Aquarium reopened its second largest exhibit, the Heart of the Sea, and its Waves of Wonder gallery. The Aquarium is opening a new jelly touch experience, Moon Bay, in early summer at its downtown Tampa location. 

“Our City and region are second to none and deserve a world-class Aquarium that our community and State can be proud of. To receive this prestigious recognition based on our community’s overwhelming support is both humbling and an honor,” said Roger Germann, President & CEO. “Every day we strive to offer the best experiences for all guests, provide the best care for our animals, educate schoolchildren, save wildlife, and give back to our community. On behalf of The Florida Aquarium, I would like to thank everyone in the Tampa Bay area and across the country for recognizing their favorite Aquarium.”

Located in the Channel District, in the heart of the City’s redevelopment efforts of Water Street Tampa and Sparkman Wharf, The Florida Aquarium has served Tampa Bay residents as a premier non-profit cultural attraction since it opened its doors in 1995. 

 
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The Florida Aquarium is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization whose mission is to entertain, educate and inspire stewardship of the natural environment, and a vision to protect and restore our blue planet.
Copyright © 2019. The Florida Aquarium. All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
701 Channelside Dr, Tampa, FL 33602

 

 
 

The Florida Aquarium is excited to announce being voted third in the nationwide USA Today 10Best Readers' Choice Awards for Best Aquarium!

The Florida Aquarium, accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and 19 other aquariums were nominated by a panel of experts to represent the best aquariums in North America recognized for their fun and educational setting, high quality exhibits and visitor interactions, and the vital role they play in animal conservation by taking part in rescue efforts and advocating for the health of our oceans. The Florida Aquarium was the only aquarium representing Florida in the Best Aquariums category.

“To be nationally recognized in the top three is both exciting and humbling in view of the other world-class aquariums that were in consideration. We want to thank everyone in Tampa Bay, Florida and the nation for their overwhelming support,” said Roger Germann, President and CEO of The Florida Aquarium. “For 23 years our aquarium friends and fans have allowed us to advance ocean conservation through community collaboration, education and entertainment, as well as rolling up our sleeves to save endangered animals through our conservation and research efforts. This vote further signifies we’re doing our part to protect and restore our blue planet for future generations.”

About The 10Best Readers’ Choice Award

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to pick the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote via online voting, which took place from April 1-30. Visit 10best.com for in depth information.

The Florida Aquarium to assist in recovery effort of Florida’s coral reef following hurricane damage

 
Top: A team during one of the first assessment trips to assess the damage of Florida's coral reefs after hurricane damage. From left to right: Laurie MacLaughlin (NOAA Florida Keys Sanctuary); Jessica Levy (Coral Restoration Foundation); Mark Riss; Deb Riss; Dave Grenda (The Florida Aquarium volunteers); Brenda Altmeier (NOAA Florida Keys Sanctuary); and Dave Rintoul (The Florida Aquarium Dive Safety Officer) Left: The Florida Aquarium's Dave Safety Officer, Dave Rintoul, attaches coral fragments to an existing coral tree in the Coral Restoration Foundation's nursery. These activities were conducted under permit FKNMS-2015-133-A1. Right: Coral Restoration Foundation staff member Jessica Levy surveying health of corals at Sombrero Key.
 
What: After assessing the damage caused by Hurricane Irma on Florida’s coral reefs, The Florida Aquarium is helping the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and other organizations repair the damage and help the reef recover. The Aquarium will be providing triage support including repositioning overturned, centuries old boulder corals; reattaching broken and fragmented pieces of coral; and removing debris.

When: The team will be traveling to the Florida Keys from Nov. 12-18,

Where: The Florida Aquarium, 701 Channelside Drive, Tampa, Florida.

For more information on the assessment and recovery initiative:

After assessing the damage caused by Hurricane Irma on Florida’s coral reefs, The Florida Aquarium is helping the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and other organizations repair the damage and help the reef recover. The Aquarium will be by providing triage support including repositioning overturned, centuries old boulder corals; reattaching broken and fragmented pieces of coral; and removing debris.

Coral reefs cover two percent of the ocean floor but are home to 25 percent of marine life in the ocean. They provide critical habitat for other species such as sea turtles, dolphins and sharks, as well as help protect coastlines from storms.

“Healthy coral reefs are adapted to withstand hurricanes. In fact, they protect shorelines by dissipating wave energy, but the reef ecosystem in the Florida Keys has been heavily compromised and is found in small patches compared to what once existed. So when a huge hurricane like Irma hits, damage to corals can be devastating. They now need our help to recover. A healthy, living and thriving reef means a healthy, living and thriving ocean,” said Margo McKnight Senior VP of Conservation, Research and Husbandry at The Florida Aquarium.

Last month, assessments of the Florida coral reef tract following hurricane Irma showed significant impact on natural coral reefs and manmade ocean-based coral nurseries throughout the Florida Keys and Dry Tortugas, as well as the broader Caribbean.

Large hurricanes can cause extensive damage on land, as well as under the sea, especially for corals that cannot leave their home to flee for safety.

Initial assessments of more than 50 sites revealed extensive shifting of sand and heavy sediment accumulation on the corals and sponges, which can smother and prevent them from getting enough sunlight, as well as some structural damage to individual corals and the reef itself. A full report is expected later this fall.

To help assist in the recovery of corals on the continental United States’ only barrier coral reef, The Florida Aquarium is helping NOAA, federal and state governmental agencies, academic institutions and other nonprofit organizations perform emergency recovery/restoration and assist with the stabilization and recovery of corals that sustained damage following the hurricane.

“During the assessment trips, it was very eye-opening to see these hundred-year-old corals snapped in two, with broken pieces sprawled all throughout the ocean floor. The assessment process identified damaged areas of the coral reef tract that could benefit from triage and restoration, so this next trip is to visit some of those sites and help stabilize them,” said Keri O’Neil, Coral Nursery Manager at The Florida Aquarium.

The Florida reef tract, much of which lies within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and Biscayne Bay National Park, contains seven coral species designated as threatened.

The Florida Aquarium staff will leave to travel to the Keys to help repair certain coral sites on Sunday, Nov. 12. Dive and repair days are Nov. 13 – 17, and the team will return home on Nov. 18. The Florida Aquarium will send updates with photos and videos during the assessment days, as possible.

This massive initiative involves several branches of NOAA, National Park Service, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Nova Southeastern University, Coral Restoration Foundation, The Nature Conservancy-Florida and The Florida Aquarium, with funding provided through a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and administered through the Coral Restoration Foundation.

The Florida Aquarium is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization whose mission is to entertain, educate and inspire stewardship about our natural environment. The Florida Aquarium is accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA).
Copyright © 2017. The Florida Aquarium. All rights reserved.

Nat Geo WILD’s Fish Tank Kings follows the Florida-based aquarium specialists at Living Color as they use their unparalleled skills, creativity and teamwork to build the most extreme fish tanks. Fish Tank Kings boasts a cast of thousands of fish — from the giant Pacific octopus and rare captive-bred porkfish to blacktip reef sharks and lionfish. From selecting the fishes to choosing the reefs and corals, clients will change their mind 10 times in the process. Acrylic will be formed and displays will be artistically created, and we’ll be there for every reveal.
Each episode follows the dedicated team as they work to create some of the most impressive fish tanks ever developed: Mat Roy is the president and is responsible for overseeing all projects and running operations at Living Color. His favorite part of the process is seeing the look on clients’ faces as they view their aquarium for the first time. Jose Blanco is the production and safety manager, planning and creating a happy home for the fish.
MANDATORY TUNE-IN: Nat Geo WILD’s new series Fish Tank Kings premieres Saturday, May 12, at 10 PM ET/PT.
ABOUT MAT ROY
President
Mat Roy grew up far from Southern Florida in Vermont and worked on a dairy farm. As a teenager he relocated to the sunshine state.
Shortly after high school Mat started his aquarium fabrication career working in the acrylic department. Then, in 1995, Mat started at Living Color as a tank fabricator and through the years he has risen through the ranks excelling at various positions: production manager, director of projects, project manager and Vice President of Operations learning everything there is to know about building aquariums along the way. With almost two decades of experience, Mat is now the president and responsible for overseeing all projects and the running of operations at Living Color.
Mat’s favorite part of the process is seeing the look on their client’s faces as they view their aquarium for the first time. He sees all of the hard work his team has put into every piece of the finished tank and feels prideful. While building custom aquariums for discerning clients keeps him busy during the day it’s his wife and two children that motivate him and he attributes much of both his success in life as well as that of Living Color’s to them.
ABOUT JOSE BLANCO
Production Manager/ Safety Manager
Jose’s parents left Cuba for Mexico with one baby girl, lived in different cities in Mexico and El Salvador and ended up in New Jersey with five kids and speaking very little English. He attended Kansas City Art Institute where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and held his favorite job as a short order cook in a Kansas City TexMex hole in the wall. “Being a cook, I ate for free…if you ever had to pay your way through college you’ll know what this means…no more Ramen noodles,” he says.
Jose considers Florida his home now and loves the state because it is all beaches. He got the job working at Living Color because they needed someone to run the “chop gun” which is a machine for laying up fiberglass and he knew how. He has now been a part of the team for 12 years and through his hard work, dedication, innovation and proven track record of completing jobs successfully he has risen through the ranks. Jose appreciates all of the hard work through planning and designing to create a happy home for fish.
While Jose’s favorite part of the fabrication process is the actual building of a reef structure, which is where he can use his creative eye to sculpt the reefs, it is the complete aquarium he finds hypnotizing. “It is amazing how watching the fish swim around separates you from all the nonsense life can throw at us and puts you at ease,” he says.