The Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, located beside the Mississippi River in New Orleans, LA, is an incredible place to discover the underwater animal kingdom. Opened in 1990, there are over 10,000 animals and 530 species represented in a variety of aquariums, displays, and exhibits. Striving to educate visitors about the aquatic world, the Audubon Aquarium also provides a number of educational programs to teach students about the subaquatic ecosystems as well as the creatures living in these habitats. Through enchanting exhibits, visitors can immerse themselves in the oceanic environment and gain a new respect for the mysterious world below us.

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At the aquarium there are many different exhibits that teach visitors about the underwater world through media, touch exhibits, and aquariums. There are hundreds of sea creatures, animals, amphibians, and birds that educate guests about the world that thrives beneath the water's surface. Some of the featured exhibits include the Great Maya Reef, Geaux Fish, Frogs - Beyond Green, Jellies, the Gulf of Mexico Exhibit, Sea Otters, Penguins, and Parakeet Pointe.

To discover the submerged Maya city, visitors must walk through a 30-foot-long tunnel to see the ancient ruins of a metropolis surrounded by colorful sea creatures. Swimming through the coral are a plethora of lionfish, yellowtail snappers, moray eels, and spiny lobsters. To discover an exhibit that focuses on the local fishing industry in Louisiana, explore the Geaux Fish exhibit. Visitors to the aquarium cam learn about the aquatic ecosystem and the importance of the industry in the region by identifying local species, touring a seafood market, and hopping on a fishing boat. There is also a fun interactive station that allows visitors to touch a cownose stingray in the water. The exhibit Frogs - Beyond Green features poison dart and milk frogs as well as other amphibians in beautiful habitats filled with exotic plants. The Jelly Gallery is an exhibit especially designed for jellyfish that functions like a carousal to prevent the animals from damaging their bodies by bumping into solid objects and corners. The largest exhibit in the aquarium is a replica of an offshore oilrig and holds 400,000 gallons of salt water. Within it, sharks, stingrays, sea turtles, and schools of fish fill the massive tank as visitors watch them circling the structure. The Audubon Aquarium of the Americas is home to two rescued southern sea otters, Clara and Ruby. These protected animals have a large exhibit that gives them plenty of space to play and swim. Another enchanting animal which the aquarium is home to are the African penguins. There are 20 of these delightful birds and all have their own distinct personalities and looks. Both of these playful species are a lot of fun to watch as they dive and splash through their exhibits all day long. Visitors wanting to watch animals that thrive on land should check out Parakeet Pointe, an outdoor environment where visitors can stroll through the exhibit to spot hundreds of colorful parakeets flying above them.

At the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas there are many different events and programs that foster learning of the underwater world. Field trips and summer programs at the aquarium allow children to interact with nature through hand-on experiences. Throughout the year there are various amounts of educational programs and classes to teach students of all ages about animals in the aquarium. In Shark School, students can learn using interactive material about why these animals are vital to the ecosystem of the ocean by examining animal adaptations, food webs, and ocean ecology. For older students who are interested in learning specifically about this oceanic predator, there are classes specializing in the biology of sharks, which even allow students to dissect them. Frog School is a class that teaches visitors about the differences between a toad and a frog as well as the environment in which these amphibians live. Feathers and Fins teaches about how to classify the five different animal groups of fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. Each weekend there is an opportunity to dive or snorkel the Great Maya Reef to explore the submerged ancient city. This breathtaking experience allows divers to see aquatic animals up-close while admiring the colorful coral. The amount of interactive and personal experiences visitors can have while visiting the Audubon Aquarium develops an understanding of and curiosity for the fascinating world of the ocean.

1 Canal Street, New Orleans, LA 70130, Phone: 504-565-3033

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