Memorial Day weekend welcomed thousands of Adventure Aquarium guests who helped raise an astounding $15,000 donation during the first-ever Shark Awareness Weekend, Aquarium officials announced today.  All of the funds collected from the weekend benefit the non-profit organization OCEARCH and sharks in the wild.

“Thanks to the generous contributions of our guests and the hard work of our staff, our first Shark Awareness Weekend was a huge success,” said Nikki Grandinetti, Curator for Fish and Invertebrates at Adventure Aquarium. “We are incredibly thankful to have so many individuals join together to raise conservation awareness and make such an incredible impact.”

Shark Awareness Weekend focused on bringing more awareness to the various species of sharks, shark medical care, ways people can help sharks as well as their diets and behaviors – all while raising funds for sharks in the wild.

“Sharks are important to the ocean’s ecosystem and we hope guests walked away from this weekend with a new appreciation for this often misunderstood predator,” said Grandinetti.  “We’re thrilled to provide OCEARCH with this donation so they can continue the great work and research they do out in the field.  We hope to continue to learn much more about these incredible animals.”

All donations collected during the weekend’s festivities benefit OCEARCH.  The non-profit organization is a recognized world leader in collecting research and data to track and conduct biological studies of marine species, such as great white and tiger sharks. Their team goes on expeditions and tags sharks in the wild. They are then able to track each shark's movement through the ocean. OCEARCH also works to help educate and conduct conservation outreach. 

Shark Awareness Weekend is one of four animal-focused conservation awareness weekends hosted by Adventure Aquarium.  The African Penguin Awareness (Labor Day Weekend) and Sea Turtle Awareness (Columbus Day Weekend) will also be held this fall.  Guests are encouraged to follow Adventure Aquarium’s social accounts for all the latest news updates.