The Atlantic City Aquarium has been serving Atlantic City, New Jersey residents and visitors since 1999. Its exhibits feature all manner of sea-life, including reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates, mammals, and of course, fish. The Aquarium is located at the Historic Gardener's Basin, surrounded by breathtaking ocean views. Originally incorporated in 1976, in order to protect and preserve the area.
The mission of the organization is to educate the community about the local environment and its animal inhabitants, which it accomplishes through partnerships with schools, aquarium tours, and conservation efforts. Also working to preserve and promote the region's maritime history, the Gardener's Basin Park includes maritime exhibits, a crafters village, traditional fishing docks, and much more. The combination of such a robust and entertaining waterfront park with the first rate Atlantic City Aquarium make for a great day at the waterfront.
There are many creatures to see and habitats to explore at the Atlantic City Aquarium. The Aquarium's offerings are broken up into 14 primary exhibits, focusing either on specific animals, or on a specific geographic area. The animal specific exhibits cover many species from all over the world. The Moray Eel exhibit gives visitors the opportunity to view up-close these illusive creatures, where visitors can view the variety of colors in which the occur.
The ever popular Tropical Shark Touch Tank is one of the most interactive of the aquarium. More than just seeing animals through glass, visitors can reach out and touch marbled, epaulette, and white spotted Bamboo sharks. Luminous jelly fish are on display in the Moon Jellies exhibit, their stinging cells safe behind glass. Brightly colored and well known favorites can be seen in the Clownfish and Anemone Tank, showing off their symbiotic relationship with each other.
To find even more brilliant colors, guests can head to the Live Coral Tank, where tropical fish dart in and out between the various types of coral on display. The Stingray Touch Tank offers another opportunity to do more than peer through enclosures. This interactive exhibit allows its visitors to reach out and feel the slippery skin of cownose stingrays. The last among the animal-centric exhibits, the Piranha Tank offers an up-close look at some of the Amazon River's most notorious predators.
Territories such as the Amazon River basin offer incredible biodiversity; focusing in on such geographic locations provides a different perspective than just looking at individual species. Many of the Aquarium's exhibits do just this, taking a deeper dive into the biodiversity of particular habitats. The first of such is the Diamondback Terrapin Territory exhibit, highlighting the biodiversity of one of the habitats native to the Atlantic and gulf coasts of the United States.
Typically found in estuaries where fresh and salt water combine, this habitat boasts a variety of marine life. Continuing on exploring the local environment, the Mullica River exhibit showcases the creatures found along the Great Bay estuary of the Mullica River, found in New Jersey. The Mid-Atlantic Coastal Zone exhibit homes in on the specific species of the Intertidal shore, and the species that live partly submerged, partly exposed, ever subject to the whim of the fluctuating tides. In Fish of the Mid-Atlantic is one of the larger exhibits at the Aquarium with a 25,000 gallon enclosure.
This tank is home to species that make their home of the New Jersey shore. Heading a bit further from home, the Tropical Rainforest exhibit focuses on plants and animals found in these wet and wild habitats. Animals on display include turtles, rays, and iguanas. Going even farther afield, the Australian Exhibit highlights two animals found in two different habitats found there. In addition to all of these regional focuses, there is one more exhibit that falls outside of these categorizations. Ocean Oddities showcases some of the more unique and unusual creatures found in the ocean deep. Visitors will want to be sure to see this rotating array of curious creatures.
In addition to the education that is bound to happen just exploring the variety of exhibits at the Atlantic City Aquarium, educational tools and materials are also available to enhance the education. The Traveling Touch Tank brings the Aquarium to the classroom, where students can see, touch, feel and learn all about types of stingrays, crabs, sharks, starfish and more.
Teacher's Tools provided through the website included lesson plans, handouts, stories and diagrams all about aquatic life. For those who want to really inspire the students to learn about marine animals, however, nothing quite inspires like a trip to the Aquarium. With field trips, guided tours and story time at the Kids Zone, a visit to the Atlantic City Aquarium is an educational adventure.
The Atlantic City Aquarium is conveniently located, and is easily accessible by car or public transit. Parking is free and available onsite. A visit to the Aquarium should also include time spent at the Historic Gardner's Basin, to partake of the dining, shopping and cruising activities available there. Waterfront casinos are also nearby for hours of entertainment. The Aquarium is open all year, however, as hours vary with the seasons, visitors are advised to review the Aquarium's website prior to arrival.
In order to see even more animal action, visitors need only check the Aquarium's schedule for one of the Aquarium Shows. The Exotic Animal Show highlights interesting species up close, teaching the audience all about these amazing animals. Featured creatures can include tarantulas, boa constrictors, bearded dragon lizards, among others. Diver Feeding Shows at the Stingray Tank and Fish of the Mid-Atlantic Tanks are fantastic opportunities to see more aquatic action, as divers submerse in the waters to interact with the animals. Other events include seasonal offerings, such as Haunted A-Scary-Um and Chefs at the Shore.
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800 North New Hampshire Avenue, Atlantic City, New Jersey 08401, Phone: 609-348-2880