North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher: Something Everyone Can Enjoy English 114, Section 51N
February 3, 2014
North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher: Something Everyone Can Enjoy
The North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher is located in Kure Beach, NC at the mouth of the Cape Fear River. The Aquarium brings thousands of people through its doors each year, according to Gwynne Moore, “In 2012, 433,954 visitors came to learn about all things aquatic. This outstanding attraction is deservedly one of the most popular in the area” (n.d.).The theme of the Aquarium is Animals and Ecosystems of Fresh and Salt Water, including those of the Cape Fear River. With a building size of 93,000 square foot, the Aquarium features over 2,500 sea creatures ranging from snakes and lionfish all the way to moray eels and sharks states Moore (n.d.). The Fort Fisher Aquarium is a place that can be enjoyed by the entire family from exhilarating exhibits and educational programs, to its outdoor features and onsite vendors. Exhilarating Exhibits
With over 2,500 sea creatures on display and chances to touch live animals, Fort Fisher ensures that visitors will enjoy their time. Touching stingrays and horseshoe crabs is one of the exhibit highlights posted on the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher website, also saying one can “talk to a SCUBA diver swimming with sharks” (“North Carolina,” n.d.c). Katelyn Sparks (personal communication, January 18, 2014), Aquarium volunteer, informed me that the stingrays are not harmful, because they are all babies and have had their tails clipped. The website also draws attention to touching live bamboo sharks, and meeting Luna an albino alligator. Amanda Hickey (2011), Content Editor for The Daily News, commented on her experience saying, “the albino alligator looked like a statue, it stayed so still in its area. The sharks moved so gracefully in the water among the other fish in their tank. The bullfrog blended right into the lily pads.” Hickey beautifully puts into words how relaxing the Aquarium can be when ones learning about the different inhabitants of the surrounding waters. Visitors of the Aquarium also get to discover North Carolina’s fiercest predator Megalodon which is regarded as one of the largest and most powerful predators in vertebrate history. The exhibit includes a complete set of Megalodon teeth and a life-sized Megalodon jaw as its centerpiece, it is a wonderful attraction. Programs Offered
The Aquarium offers an assortment of fun and educational programs throughout the year. Some special indoor activities include Aquarist Apprentice, Extended Behind the Scenes Tour, Behind the Scenes Tour, and children’s Discovery Times. The Aquariums website giving a specific age for each activity and emphasizing that “children must be accompanied by a paying adult” (“North Carolina,” n.d.a). Daily programs is another great attraction, it is appropriate for all ages and includes seven separate events. The website list Dialog with a Diver, observing Aquarium divers in their daily tasks and swims with sharks, rays and eels; Creature Feature, where participants will learn about animals up close and personal; Ocean Odyssey, where an Aquarium educator will help visitors discover facts about the underwater world; Animal Feedings, which includes observing the animals feeding patterns with an educator on hand to answer questions; Animal Encounter, that gives one the chance to interact with the different reptiles, amphibians, and more; Smart Cart Connection, where educators and volunteers share a range of interesting topics; and Educational Films, that are short and meant to increase knowledge in the general public (“North Carolina,” n.d.a). Scouts Program
A Program separated into boys and girls that includes hands-on activities, and teaches children the rewards of earning badges. The Boy Scouts have the option to earn an Oceanography...
References: Hickey, A (2011). Wrapping up the drive at Fort Fisher. Daily News, The (Jacksonville, NC).
Moore, G. (n.d.). Aquarium in Fort Fisher. In Wilmington Today. Retrieved February 1, 2014
North Carolina Aquarium Society. (2012). Adventure Reef Opens. In North Carolina Aquariums at Fort Fisher. Retrieved February 1, 2014
North Carolina Aquarium Society. (n.d.a). Daily Programs. In North Carolina Aquariums at Fort Fisher. Retrieved February 1, 2014
North Carolina Aquarium Society. (n.d.b). North Carolina Aquariums at Fort Fisher. In North Carolina Aquariums. Retrieved February 3, 2014
North Carolina Aquarium Society. (n.d.c). Outdoor Programs. In North Carolina Aquariums at Fort Fisher. Retrieved February 1, 2014
North Carolina Aquarium Society. (n.d.d). Scout Program. In North Carolina Aquariums at Fort Fisher. Retrieved February 1, 2014
Strickland, C. (2012). Aquarium at Fort Fisher adds outdoor playground. Star-News (Wilmington, NC).
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