New Orleans,
15:22 PM

Audubon Aquarium of the Americas Celebrating 30th Aquaversary

With a yearlong party to mark this “fintastic” milestone

Audubon Aquarium of the Americas has been inviting guests to marvel in the wonders of the aquatic environments of South, Central, and North America and their adjacent seas, oceans, and rivers for the past 30 years.

Since opening its doors to the public September 1, 1990, the Aquarium has welcomed nearly 30 million visitors, expanded its habitats to include the 4,200-square-foot Great Maya Reef and opened Entergy Giant Screen Theater. Now, the Aquarium is excited to debut Shark Discovery, the shark and ray touchpool opening in the Spring of 2020.

To celebrate this pearl “aquaversary,” Audubon will be asking New Orleanians and visitors to the city to join in the fun all year long with activities such as - ticket giveaways, animal enrichment activities, scavenger hunts, and most importantly, seeking out opportunities to help protect the natural world.

“The Aquarium has meant so much to the people and visitors of the city for the past 30 years, and now we are asking the public to look ahead to the next 30 years and see how they can take action to help make an impact in their everyday lives to make our natural world a better place,” says Vice President and Managing Director of Audubon Aquarium of the Americas Rich Toth.

As part of this “aquaversary” celebration Audubon Aquarium is asking the public to do things such as,

  • Use a reusable coffee cup
  • Bring your own reusable shopping bags to help reduce plastic waste
  • Refuse plastic straws when buying a drink
  • Bring reusable water bottles instead of buying plastic ones

As a member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Audubon Aquarium has supported conservation efforts for many endangered species, including the African penguin. In accordance with the species survival plan, 54 penguin chicks have hatched over the last thirty years. Nine of those chicks remain here in the Aquarium colony. The Aquarium also receive birds from all over the country to keep a genetically diverse population, and in 2000, Audubon sent 15 penguins to the Monterrey Bay Aquarium to open their new penguin habitat.

Five rescued California sea otters have also lived at the Aquarium including the two current otter residents, Ruby and Clara.


The concept for the Aquarium dates to 1984, when Audubon Nature Institute began exploring the idea of opening a facility dedicated to aquatic wildlife. In 1987, demolition of the Bienville Street wharves began to make way for the new Aquarium. A consortium of local architecture firms, working under the name The Bienville Group, designed the Aquarium's signature wave-like shape and glimmering partial glass facade.

In October 1989, Woldenberg Riverfront Park opened to the public, and, 11 months later, the Aquarium's inaugural day in business saw 13,623 visitors, breaking all opening day records for any U.S. aquarium.

To join the party, Audubon supporters can check Audubon social media to see what fun surprises await—there will be something new each month.


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Audubon Nature Institute

Audubon Nature Institute operates a family of museums, parks and research facilities dedicated to celebrating the wonders of nature. Through innovative live animal exhibits, education programs, and scientific discovery, Audubon makes a meaningful contribution to preserving wildlife for the future. Audubon Nature Institute flagships include Audubon Park, Audubon Zoo, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, Entergy Giant Screen Theater, Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, Audubon Louisiana Nature Center, Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center, Woldenberg Riverfront Park and Audubon Wilderness Park. Ron Forman is President and CEO of Audubon Nature Institute.