The Adventure Aquarium and New Jersey Academy for Aquatic Sciences, one of the country's top aquariums and leading regional educational institutions joins 23 other marine facilities in becoming part of the growing network of Coastal America Coastal Ecosystem Learning Centers.
By becoming a Coastal Ecosystem Learning Center, the Aquarium and the Academy will gain access to the scientific resources of 16 federal agencies that will offer items such as ship time, technical expertise, exhibits, and educational materials, as well as chances to collaborate on research projects.
"This designation is just as important for our nation as it is for the city of Camden and Adventure Aquarium and the Academy," says Monica Medina, principal deputy under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere. "By improving public awareness of coastal issues through education and outreach, Adventure Aquarium and the New Jersey Academy for Aquatic Sciences play a vital role in raising public awareness. We hope that the young aquarium visitors of today are the marine scientists of tomorrow."
As a Learning Center, Adventure Aquarium and the New Jersey Academy for Aquatic Sciences will focus on educating their visitors about the nature and value of coastal resources. They will join an international network of marine educational institutions that are addressing our growing coastal problems by creating a better informed public.
"We are thrilled that Coastal America has designated Adventure Aquarium and the New Jersey Academy for Aquatic Sciences as the Region's only Coastal Ecosystem Learning Center," says Adventure Aquarium's Executive Director Kevin Keppel. "This valuable partnership only further strengthens our ability to educate and enlighten Adventure Aquarium guests and our surrounding community about the importance of protecting our coastal environment."
Billing itself as the country's "most touchable" aquarium, the Adventure Aquarium on the Camden Waterfront is the fifth largest aquarium in America. The Aquarium and its education partner, the New Jersey Academy for Aquatic Sciences take special pride in offering a rich and culturally relevant environmental program for underserved urban audiences in the Camden/Philadelphia region.
Coastal America, an interagency federal partnership that works to protect, preserve and restore the national coastal ecosystems, established the Learning Center network in 1996. The 24 designated Learning Centers work with federal partners to educate and engage the public in protecting coastal ecosystems.
Adventure Aquarium houses 200,000 sq. ft. of public space, more than two million gallons of water and 431 species. The Aquarium and the Academy serve over 800,000 visitors annually and draw well over 300,000 participants to a wide variety of shows, movies, lessons, tours and field programs.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.