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.