Virginia Aquarium Gets Planet Recognition! - January 17, 2013
The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center has been included in the Recommended by Lonely Planet 2013 program. The program recognizes businesses that are reviewed in Lonely Planet guidebooks. Lonely Planet is the #1 travel publisher in America, a globally loved brand, and a trusted resource for up-to-date travel advice. Through its guidebooks, award-winning website, a suite of digital travel products, and a dedicated traveler community, Lonely Planet helps curious travelers experience the world and get to the heart of a place.
The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums. The Aquarium is among the first attractions in the state to become certified as a Virginia Green Attraction. It is located at 717 General Booth Boulevard, just south of Rudee Inlet in Virginia Beach. For more information on exhibits, movies, boat rides and special events call (757) 385-FISH (3474), (TTY 711) or VirginiaAquarium.com.
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The Power of the Sea Presentation - January 16, 2013
Thursday, January 24, 7 p.m.
Free at the Virginia Aquarium IMAX® Theater
(Virginia Beach, VA) - On Thursday, January 24, at 7 p.m. the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center will host a presentation by Bruce Parker, Ph.D., author of The Power of the Sea. Conducted in the Aquarium’s 3D IMAX Theater, his free presentation will focus on the subtitle of his book: Tsunamis, storm surges, rogue waves, and our quest to predict disasters.
Author Bruce Parker has his Ph.D. in physical oceanography from The Johns Hopkins University and he is a world-recognized expert in oceanographic subjects.
The Power of the Sea interweaves compelling stories of marine disasters with fascinating stories of how scientists and mariners slowly learned how to predict them and how this impacted history, including wars. From history to the latest technological advances using satellites and computer models, Parker describes our growing knowledge of the sea and its impact on our lives. From the predictable tides to the difficulty in predicting tsunamis, rogue waves, and certain aspects of climate change, Parker depicts the drama of the seas while clearly explaining the science behind the ocean’s most powerful phenomena.
The local chapters of the Marine Technology Society and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers are sponsoring the free event. The Aquarium’s store will be open and Parker will sign purchased copies of his book.
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Virginia Aquarium Seals to Winter-Over in Florida - January 09, 2013
(Virginia Beach, VA) – Much like a house, major facility maintenance can be trying on its inhabitants – especially when it is five furry fellows at the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center’s outdoor harbor seal pool. Since there is no place at the Aquarium for the seals to be temporarily housed, they were transported to the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park in Ft. Walton Beach, Florida, last weekend, where they will remain in residence until the end of March.
Peter, Piper, Phoca, Norton, and Hector traveled by truck with a team of Marine Mammal Specialists to their Florida destination and are adapting well to their new environment according to Aquarium Senior Curator of Mammals Chip Harshaw. “This will not be a true Florida vacation for the seals - it will be more like summer school since they will continue to work with Virginia Aquarium trainers at the Gulfarium Park until their return.
The Harbor Seal exhibit is nearly 17 years old and its roof needs some work and a new heat exchanger that cools the water in the summer. “The first thing guests will notice is that all of the water in the pool has been drained,” said Harshaw. “This is necessary to remove all of the waterproofing epoxy on the bottom of the pool, repair the concrete pool basin of minor cracks, and remove all of the old caulk that seals the acrylic glass to the concrete pool. Once this is completed, a new coat of epoxy and caulk will seal the pool. In addition, the habitat’s acrylic will be polished to a like-new condition before the pool is refilled and ready to house our seals once again.”
Until the Virginia Aquarium seals return to their habitat, locals could possibly see harbor seals in the wild in winter and spring along Virginia’s coastline. Other species known to occur in our area are grey seals, hooded seals, and harp seals. Most seal sightings in Virginia are of an individual animal popping its head out of the water, or sitting on the beach or on someone's dock.
Winter Virginia Aquarium E-cycling Event - January 08, 2013
(Virginia Beach, VA) - The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center in partnership with TFC Recycling and Goodwill Industries of Central Virginia will offer its semi-annual E-cycling event Saturday, January 26, 2013, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Virginia Aquarium East Parking Lot.
Acceptable personal electronic recyclable items include:
• Personal computers and laptops
• Telephones, cell phones and PDA’s
• Televisions smaller than 32”
• Circuit boards and components
• Monitors and flat screens
• Fax machines
• Stereo equipment and game systems
• Regular recycling materials such as newspapers, bottles and cans will also be accepted.
Electronic recycling events help to divert electronic “waste” away from landfills and back into the economy. To date, the Aquarium’s e-cycling events have collected more than 160 tons of electronic material since this program’s inception in September 2009. Each E-cycling event collects an average of 30 tons per event.
The Virginia Aquarium E-cycling program received the 2011 Virginia Green Travel Star Most Innovative Green Project Award. E-cycling events are held twice each year at the Virginia Aquarium. The mission of the Virginia Aquarium is to inspire conservation of the marine environment through education, research and sustainable practices.
The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center is among the first attractions in the state to become certified as a Virginia Green Attraction. Visit www.virginiaaquarium.com or call (757)385-0262 for more E-cycling Event information.
Newly Begun Winter Wildlife Boat Trip Season Rings True - January 03, 2013
The Virginia Aquarium’s Winter Wildlife Boat Trip season began last week and apparently whales, dolphins, and sea birds knew it was their time to view visitors.
Last Thursday on the season’s opening day, morning boat guests saw 15 active bottlenose dolphins while the afternoon boat trip saw the first baleen whale of the season, a humpback.
Since then, four other trips had humpback whale sightings. Feathered friends have also been getting their birds-eye view of guests. “Northern gannets, loons, brown pelicans, and other sea birds have been on the scene,” said Virginia Aquarium Educator Jovonne Vrechek. “It’s been a true winter wildlife experience so far!”
Aquarium staff rated Saturday’s 2 p.m. boat trip sighting as the best with four humpback whales and a probable fin whale blow in the distance.
Winter Wildlife Boat Trips run through March 31. Admission costs are: adults $28 (12 and older); children $24 (ages 4-11); and children less than 3 years of age are free. Tickets may be purchased at either Aquarium building or at the Virginia Beach Fishing Center at Rudee Inlet. For further information, current schedules, and reservations, visit VirginiaAquarium.com or call (757)385-FISH. Wildlife sightings are not guaranteed and trips may be cancelled due to unsafe boating conditions.