The North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher honored two employees recently for making the Aquarium a better place to work and visit.Aquarist Matt Babineau won the 2013 Sea Star Award for outstanding job performance. Babineau’s love of science and the ocean led him to his work at the Aquarium where he manages animal health and water quality in various systems. He volunteered for six months before being hired in 2006
“Every day is different and challenging,” said Babineau, a native of coastal Wiscasset, Maine. “I could be stuck at a desk or answering phones, but instead I’m doing a public feed and making some kids’ day by letting them touch and feed a stingray.”
Aquarium Educator Megan Ennes won the 2013 Customer Service Award for her positive attitude and dedication.
Among her responsibilities, Ennes teaches free public programs at the Aquarium including dive shows and writes teacher curriculum for visiting educators and students. The Valparaiso, Indiana native served as a volunteer and part-time employee before being hired in her current position in 2010.
Ennes considers her job one of the best at the Aquarium because she interacts with visitors and helps them be inspired by the ocean.
“I teach them why our ocean is so important and, just as important, what they can do to help it,” she said.
Permanent, temporary and seasonal state employees or N.C. Aquarium Society employees are eligible for the annual Sea Star and Customer Service awards. Employees are nominated by their peers, with winners recognized at an all staff meeting held each December. Award winners receive a plaque, $250 from the NC Aquarium Society and dinner for two at Indochine. Restaurant.