Earlier today, I went behind-the-scenes at the Virginia Aquarium with a local networking organization for young professionals! I LOVE the ocean, marine critters, and seeing how organizations & businesses get involved with their local community. So this was the perfect event for me!
I have been getting emails for events for this group for several months now and I have never really wanted to go – also been a little intimidated by not knowing anyone. However, I dragged my friend, Mallory from blonde&rouge, to this event and it was a blast!
We got to socialize and enjoy some snacks for about 30 minutes before having a welcome chat from a few of the directors at the Aquarium. After that, we broke up into three groups and went behind the scenes of some of the exhibits. Unfortunately, phones were not allowed behind the scenes so these were the only pictures I got! However, I have some awesome memories!
My group toured the Spotted Eagle Ray exhibit which was also home to a Zebra Shark and some Rabbitfish.
Here’s what I learned…
- In 2017, the Virginia Aquarium had 80,000 elementary, middle, and high school students visit and become educated on marine life.
- The Virginia Aquarium is responsible for the entire Virginia coastline! Any stranded animals or illnesses (mass beaching, etc..) that occurs, the Aquarium is called in to help respond to the issue and investigate!
- There were 349 animal strandings on VA coastlines that the Aquarium responded to.
- The rescue efforts are funded 100% by public donations.
- Some of the animals that are stranded are brought back to the Aquarium to be nursed and released or become the new member of an exhibit!
- The Virginia Aquarium is home ~10,000 animals – fish, sting rays, sharks, seals, and so many more critters!
I was able to pet some of the sting rays so that was fun! I also learned about some of their volunteer opportunities which I will be looking into after I publish this post.
Have you been to the Virginia Aquarium? Or your local aquarium? If so, what was your favorite exhibit? Share in the comments below!