The ocean is the heart of the Earth that is home to a wide variety of sea creatures. It also serves as a means of transportation, sustenance and adventure. Water covers 70% of the planet and mankind has only explored 5% of its depths. Although visiting an aquarium will tell you what we do know! Aquariums are amazing to visit because they dedicate their revenue and resources to ocean and wildlife conservation efforts. These are AquaMobile’s top 5 aquariums in North America!
1) Shedd Aquarium – Chicago, IL, USA
Shedd Aquarium is more than an educational experience. It is also home to many animal rehabilitation programs. It is part of an organization called SAFE (Saving Animals From Extinction).
Shedd goes above and beyond for all types of sea life. All types of animals are taken under their wing and nursed back to health until it is time to return to the wild. Additionally, Shedd has helped relocate endangered Illinois Muscles. They have also given 24 hours care to a baby sea otter and rescued sea turtles caught in a deadly oil spill alongside other members of SAFE. Profits from tickets and memberships contribute to SAFE to rescue even more animals!
2) Tennessee Aquarium – Chattanooga, TN, USA
Something unique to Tennesee Aquarium is its extensive river exhibit! The “River Giants” exhibit features “Volkswagen” sized catfish and river rays with bodies that stretch up to 12 feet in diameter!
Another one of Tennessee Aquarium’s most popular exhibits is its River Otter experience.
Tennessee Aquarium’s “River Otter Falls” is home to six charismatic North American River Otters. Their names are Delmar, Benny, Louie, Maya, Hunter and Digger who have their distinct characteristics and personalities. These otters were brought to Tennessee’s River Otter Recovery Program. This helped restore Tennessee’s River Otter population and removed the creatures from the endangered species list! See what the River Otters are up to using Tennesee Aquarium’s 24-hour otter cam here! The aquarium is a member of SAFE too.
3) Georgia Aquarium – Atlanta, GA, USA
The Georgia Aquarium is the largest in the world. Their “Ocean Voyager” is home to countless sea giants such as manta rays, sea turtles, grouper and even whale sharks!
The aquarium is also the founder of the Caring Together Club, which inspired scientific-based animal advocacy. The program lets them rescue animals and rehabilitate them into the wild. Animals that are unable to be rehabilitated are cared for permanently by the aquarium. During this time, animals are studied in hopes of helping to maintain healthy populations of different species in the wild. The Georgia Aquarium imports endangered Beluga Whales, Sea Turtles, Sea Lions, Sea Otters, Whale Sharks and African Penguins. Anyone can join and support the Caring Together Club. Click here to sign up for the Georgia Aquarium’s newsletter!
4) Monterey Bay Aquarium – Monterey, CA, USA
Monterey Bay Aquarium in California is a marine life sanctuary for many aquatic animals. What makes sit stand out is that it is the inspiration for the Marine Life Institute in Finding Dory!
Much like in Finding Dory, Monterey Bay Aquarium has a kelp forest exhibit as well as a Giant Pacific Octopus exhibit. It does not use any Belugas or Whale Sharks, but there is Great White swimming about! The aquarium also spreads awareness for protecting the diminishing Albatross population. There are growing concerns, due to plastic causing pollution. The biggest exhibit features creatures from the open sea such as sardines, sharks and sea turtles.
5) Ripley’s Aquarium – Toronto, ON, Canada
Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto, Canada, has a fully functioning café for couples to dine with the sharks. There are also programs like a stingray experience in Ray Bay and Discovery Dive in Dangerous Lagoon. You can even have a sleepover party with friends! It brings a whole new meaning to the term “sleep with the fishes!”
Ripley supports The Shark Research Institute. 100% of proceeds from their Souvenir Guide Book Sales go to this organization. The money goes towards efforts to educate people about sharks and alter preconceived misconceptions. Sadly, over 100 million sharks are poached and killed annually. As home to a variety of sharks, this is a cause that Ripley’s can get behind!
If we forgot to mention an amazing aquarium, let us know in the comments section!