Sustainability is defined as progress that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. The Aquariums seek to incorporate sustainable design into their facilities, install energy-saving and water-saving devices and inspire an ethic of resource conservation into the everyday activities of staff. Then, we can pass the message on to our visitors.

Green team-Comprised of environmentally-conscious staff members, the Green Team’s mission is to establish a culture of sustainability at the Aquarium and to relay sustainable principles and practices to the public. Put more simply, our team’s focus has been on the “3Rs”: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. The Team hosts beach clean ups each year, and attends community fairs like the Craven Community College Green Fair and Crystal Coast Earth Day Celebration
Native plants and rain garden-The native plants around the Aquarium grounds are best equipped to withstand the harsh conditions of a barrier island. These plants need minimal maintenance, therefore reducing the need for watering and fertilizers. When it rains, the water is retained in our rain and bog gardens, allowing the water to slowly filter into the ground instead of washing topsoil and pollutants directly into Bogue Sound.
Solar panel-The Aquarium’s 15’ x 8’ solar panel is capable of producing 13 kwh per day, the equivalent of powering the average household for 12 hours.Track the energy output here.
Cistern-six cisterns capture 18,000 gallons of rain water to be used for irrigation, washing boats and cars, and for use in our freshwater exhibits, including our mountain waterfall.Learn more about cisterns here.  
Zenon-The Aquarium’s on-site waste water treatment is capable of reclaiming 1,000 gallons of water water (black water) per day. This treated water can be re-used in toilets and urinals.Learn more about the Zenon system here.  
Local Catch-The mission of the Local Catch project is to create awareness about sustainable seasonal fisheries. Each card includes tips for selecting seasonal fresh seafood. Species listed as North Carolina “Local Catch” are managed for long-term viability. Download Local Catch cards for all seasons:Spring