The Georgia Aquarium 

The Georgia Aquarium is one of the largest and most popular aquariums in the world, located in Atlanta, Georgia. Opened in 2005, the aquarium has since become a major tourist destination, attracting visitors from all over the world. The aquarium boasts over 10 million gallons of water, and is home to thousands of marine animals, from the smallest seahorses to the largest whale sharks. In this blog, we will take a closer look at the Georgia Aquarium, its history, exhibits, and its impact on marine conservation.

History of the Georgia Aquarium

The Georgia Aquarium was founded by a group of business leaders and philanthropists who shared a common goal of creating an educational and entertaining facility that would showcase marine life and inspire conservation. The project was led by Bernie Marcus, co-founder of Home Depot, who donated $250 million to fund the construction of the aquarium.

The construction of the Georgia Aquarium took nearly two years and required the excavation of over 3 million cubic yards of dirt. The aquarium officially opened its doors on November 23, 2005, and has been a popular attraction ever since.

Exhibits at the Georgia Aquarium

The Georgia Aquarium is home to a wide variety of exhibits, each showcasing different marine environments and species. Here are some of the most popular exhibits:

Ocean Voyager

The Ocean Voyager exhibit is the centerpiece of the Georgia Aquarium, featuring a massive 6.3 million gallon tank that is home to whale sharks, manta rays, and thousands of other fish species. The tank is one of the largest in the world, and visitors can walk through a 100-foot-long tunnel that takes them through the center of the tank, providing an up-close view of the marine life inside.

Tropical Diver

The Tropical Diver exhibit is home to a variety of brightly colored fish, including angelfish, tangs, and butterflyfish. Visitors can also see jellyfish, seahorses, and coral reefs, all in a simulated tropical environment.

Cold Water Quest

The Cold Water Quest exhibit features animals that are adapted to colder water environments, including beluga whales, sea otters, and penguins. Visitors can watch the playful antics of the penguins as they swim and slide on the ice.

River Scout

The River Scout exhibit takes visitors on a journey through Georgia’s rivers and wetlands, showcasing local wildlife such as alligators, turtles, and fish. The exhibit also features a touch tank where visitors can get hands-on experience with some of the animals.

Behind the Scenes Tour

For those who want a more in-depth experience, the Georgia Aquarium offers a Behind the Scenes tour that takes visitors behind the scenes to see how the aquarium operates. The tour includes a visit to the food prep kitchen, where visitors can see how the animals are fed, and a visit to the animal health center, where visitors can learn about the care and treatment of the aquarium’s animals.

Impact on Conservation

In addition to being a popular tourist destination, the Georgia Aquarium has also had a significant impact on marine conservation. The aquarium is actively involved in research and conservation efforts around the world, working to protect and preserve marine ecosystems and the animals that live in them.

One of the aquarium’s major conservation efforts is its work with whale sharks. The aquarium is home to several whale sharks, which are the largest fish in the world. The aquarium’s researchers have been studying these animals for many years, gathering data on their behavior, migration patterns, and reproductive biology. This research has helped to improve our understanding of these animals and has informed conservation efforts aimed at protecting whale shark populations in the wild.

The Georgia Aquarium is also involved in the conservation of other marine animals, including sea turtles and coral reefs. The aquarium’s researchers have been studying sea turtles for many years.