Virginia Aquarium Winter Wildlife Boat Trips Update #4 - February 27, 2013
(Virginia Beach, VA) - Last weekend’s Virginia Aquarium Winter Wildlife Boat Trips brought in some unique activity for this time of the year. On February 22, two humpback whales and approximately 20 extremely active bottlenose dolphins were spotted near Rudee Inlet. Virginia Aquarium Educator Janet Schroeder said, “One of the humpback whales was at the surface a lot with its head showing the whale’s nodules/tubercles.”
On Sunday’s trips, Virginia Aquarium Boat Trips Coordinator Alexis Rabon reported that the bottlenose dolphins were the stars of the sea. On all three excursions, the dolphins were extremely active demonstrating behaviors such as breaching, tail slapping, and feeding cooperatively together. Several calves were spotted, and on many occasions, the dolphins rode along the bow, sides, and in the wake of the boat. “The dolphins were highly inquisitive, and treated the guests to many up-close views where they looked directly at guests,” said Rabon. “The water visibility was excellent, and the dolphins could be seen twirling around under the surface.” Sunday’s 9 a.m. trip also experienced a humpback whale sighting.
“Our ‘flight’ crew was also out in full force with northern gannets plunge diving down into the water,” said Rabon. Surf scoters, double-crested cormorants, red-breasted mergansers, great black-back gulls, loons, and brown pelicans were also noted.
Virginia Aquarium In Running for National Medal - February 14, 2013
The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) today announced that the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center is among 33 finalists for the 2013 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor conferred on museums and libraries for service to the community and celebrates institutions that make a difference for individuals, families, and communities.
The IMLS is encouraging community members who have visited the Virginia Aquarium to share their story on the IMLS Facebook page, www.facebook.com/USIMLS and to learn more about how these institutions make an impact. To learn more about the 2013 National Medal finalists, visit www.imls.gov/medals.
“Sea Turtles: A Story of Survival” - February 13, 2013
Sea turtles are among the most endearing marine animals of the sea. Maybe it’s their graceful moves in spite of their hard shell, and perhaps it is because they work so hard at survival. The next speaker of the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center Eleanor and Henry Watts Conservation Speaker Series is Patrick M. Burchfield Ph.D., who was a key leader in the Kemp’s ridley sea turtle return from the brink of extinction. His free presentation, “Sea Turtles: A Story of Survival” is March 10, 2 p.m. in the Aquarium’s 3D IMAX Theater.
Aquarium Director of Research & Conservation Mark Swingle said, “Dr. Burchfield’s work is truly one of the most amazing conservation stories in the animal world. He is an excellent speaker.”
Guests will watch a short video which illustrates the details of the project. This will be followed by Burchfield’s remarks.
The presentation coincides with the Aquarium’s Trash Bash 2.0 weekend which focuses on marine debris and its effects on the environment. On both Saturday and Sunday, March 9 & 10, from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. local and national organizations will provide displays and hands-on activities for guests including stations for recycled craft ideas and environmental games. An art show will feature trash used creatively. Throughout the day, Aquarium educators in the Marsh Pavilion and at the Restless Planet Conservation Station will offer “critter close-ups” and learn why a healthy environment is crucial to their survival.
Virginia Aquarium Volunteer Flower Guild Presents a Flower Demonstration - February 13, 2013
The promise of spring flowers are just a bud away and that means floral arrangements at the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center will change with the season as well. To help spring current and future Aquarium Flower Guild volunteers into action, Kim Whitfield, owner of Flowers at Hilltop, will present a free Floral Demonstration on Wednesday, March 27, at 10 a.m. in the Bay & Ocean Pavilion classroom.
Refreshments will follow the program. Flower Guild members will be available for questions about their volunteer efforts and rewards. For more information or to RSVP (no later than March 25), please contact Cheryll Klobuchar at 757-463-4885 or the Virginia Aquarium Volunteer Resource Office at 757-385-0274.
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