Adventure Aquarium’s resident sea turtles are proud to announce their 2nd annual Sea Turtle Awareness Weekend, October 8 through 10, to raise awareness for endangered sea turtles in the wild and the Sea Turtle Conservancy. Guests will also bid farewell to the Aquarium’s sea turtle hatchling Koopa, who will be traveling to North Carolina to be released into the Gulf Stream later in October, as well as experience sea turtle content, feeds, daily diet facts, various ways guests can save a sea turtle and much more.
“Our entire team is excited for Sea Turtle Awareness Weekend, which includes a special goodbye party for Koopa, our rehab and release hatchling that will be released into the ocean later in October,” said Nikki Grandinetti, Curator of Fish and Invertebrates, Adventure Aquarium. “Six out of seven sea turtle species are vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered and this weekend gives us a chance to inform our guests about the sea turtle conservation efforts we participate in like the rehab and release hatchling program and funding endeavors for the Sea Turtle Conservancy.”
A special highlight of the weekend will be the bittersweet sendoff party for Koopa, the rehab and release loggerhead hatchling, before being released into the deep blue. Every year, Adventure Aquarium acquires a hatchling from North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores Sea Turtle Program to rehabilitate for one year. Biologists are responsible to guide and train the hatchling to do activities it would normally do in the wild. After a year, the hatchling is released into the wild off the coast of North Carolina along with other yearlings from aquariums all over the country.
SEA TURTLE AWARENESS WEEKEND PROGRAMMING
Sea Turtle Donation and Activity Tables - Guests will learn about the nutritional diets and habits of the resident sea turtles and participate in an interactive sea turtle survival game. A variety of items will be available for purchase like special awareness weekend themed t-shirts, reusable bags, wristbands and farewell to Koopa cards, with all proceeds benefiting wild sea turtles.
Sea Turtle Up Close Opportunity – Guests will have an opportunity to participate in the Sea Turtle Up-Close Adventure, which includes feeding resident sea turtles from the top of Ocean Realm, at a discounted rate, $35/person and $50/couple (space limited, while supplies last).
Sea Turtle Enrichment Sessions – Guests will watch as Adventure Aquarium’s resident turtles, ranging in size from hundreds of pounds to just ounces, go through stimulating enrichment sessions in Ocean Realm and other exhibits as well as learn more about these fascinating animals.
Adopt a Sea Turtle Program – Guests can adopt an Adventure Aquarium sea turtle at The Gift Shop, with a portion of the proceeds benefitting the Sea Turtle Conservancy. Two tier options are available, including Standard and Deluxe. Depending on tier, adoptions can include an official Certificate of Adoption, bio sheet, color photo, plush, tote bag and more.
Turtle Crafts and Family Activities Table – The Center for Aquatic Sciences and CAUSE staff will host a craft table featuring coloring activities while incorporating fun turtle facts.
Turtle-y Awesome Savings – Bring home an exclusive Sea Turtle Awareness Weekend souvenir in the Gift Shop to commemorate a turtle-y awesome experience with 20% of proceeds donated to the Sea Turtle Conservancy. Something for everyone, including turtle shirts for adults and kids, toys, mugs and hats!