Dive deep at the newly renovated N.C. Aquarium on Roanoke Island

This is our third and final visit in our North Carolina Aquarium series

This week we conclude our N.C. Aquarium series as they celebrate their 40th anniversary this year—first we travelled to Pine Knoll Shores and then to Fort Fisher, finally we conclude here with the newly renovated N.C. Aquarium on Roanoke Island.
The waters of the Outer Banks have seen children at play, walkers along the beach, and fishermen at the ready with poles. Beneath the surface, stingrays sail by, fish swim in schools, and sharks meander through the waters. At the Roanoke Island Aquarium, visitors can explore what is down under with exhibits geared at diving beneath the surface.”Visiting the aquarium is a great way to learn about what is in North Carolina, how special these inhabitants are, and how to preserve the environment,” said Director Maylon White. “We offer a variety of experiences, a mix of animals, interactions, and educational activities — something for everyone.”Roanoke Island joins the North Carolina Aquariums in celebrating 40 years this September. Welcoming 300,000 guests annually, the aquarium underwent renovations this summer to provide new and expanded experiences for visitors.”It is important for us to update and connect with our visitors,” said Brian Postelle, public relations coordinator. “We want people to walk in, lose themselves, and be a part of this environment.”Visitors can get lost in the recreation of the USS Monitor, a shipwreck off the coast of North Carolina. Feeling as if one is sunk beneath the ocean, guests will discover the blue tang and red lionfish, moray eel, spadefish, lobster, and seahorses. From there visitors can move on to the Graveyard of the Atlantic, a 285,000-gallon tank that is home to sand tiger and sandbar sharks, as well as pools of fish like grouper, sheepshead, permit, and barracuda.”From ocean life to exotic birds, we offer amazing creature features showcasing reptiles, amphibians, and a rose hair tarantula,” said Educator Beth Harkness.Educational programs are plentiful from offering question and answer sessions with daily scuba divers to games of “Ocean Jeopardy” to the very popular Sea Turtle Assistance and Rehabilitation (STAR) Center.The STAR Center offers visitors the opportunity to witness the work of more than 45 volunteers who are dedicated to saving, treating, and helping with the rehabilitation so sea turtles can enter back into the waters.”Our guests spend a long time learning about sea turtles and leave with a greater appreciation for these creatures as they are able to visit the turtle hospital and see our patients in rehabilitation,” said White.More than 750 sea turtles have been cared for and released back into the Atlantic Ocean.There’s more than just sea creatures to explore—visiting the Seven Rivers Exhibit allows guests to discover the animals found in the seven rivers that feed into the Albemarle Sound. Alligators, a longnose gar, corn snakes, and kingsnakes can be found here.”Our exhibits are designed with a fun and educational tone,” saidPostelle. “Museums, aquariums, and the zoo, no matter where you visit in North Carolina, we want to know how can we best make our visitors feel like part of the experience.”Visitors are invited to be a part of a special experience as the Roanoke Island Aquarium celebrates 40 years on Sept. 17 from 10 a.m. — 2 p.m.