Partners at Fort Fisher

All three Aquariums are accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). The AZA accredits only those institutions that have achieved rigorous standards for animal care, education, wildlife conservation and science.

The Aquarium is a division of the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and works closely with sister agencies North Carolina Zoo, North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, North Carolina Division of Coastal Management, North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries, Albermarle-Pamlico National Estuary Program and North Carolina Office of Environmental Education.

The Aquarium has been designated as a Coastal Ecosystem Learning Center with the Coastal America program, a national network of aquariums and science centers devoted to fostering conservation education about America’s coasts.

The Aquarium is a longstanding member of the Greater Wilmington Chamber of Commerce and the Pleasure Island Chamber of Commerce.

The Aquarium partners with the University of North Carolina Wilmington for activities and educational opportunities with faculty, students and internships, and volunteers.

The Aquarium works regularly with the Town of Kure Beach and the Town of Carolina Beach on a variety of topics, including beach cleanups, emergency planning and other issues of mutual interest.

The Aquarium property is a designated component of the North Carolina Birding Trail.

The Aquarium is actively involved with tourism-related projects, in partnership Wilmington and Beaches Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The Aquarium is a regular placement site for summer internships through the N.C. Youth Advocacy and Involvement Office.

The Aquarium works closely with faculty, staff and students of the N.C. State University College of Veterinary Medicine in managing the care for the Aquarium’s living collection.

The Aquarium creates teacher curriculum, hosts teacher workshops and creates on- and off-site field trips for New Hanover County Schools.

The Aquarium provides support for the New Hanover Soil and Water Conservation environmental field days.

In partnership with North Carolina Sea Grant, the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/National Marine Fisheries Services, the Aquarium developed Local Catch seafood availability wallet cards. Each seasonal card highlights North Carolina’s commercial fisheries and fisheries management plans that include sustainable harvest goals.

The Aquarium is a participating member of the Sea Turtle Stranding Network through the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.

The Aquarium is an active member of the Divers Alert Network, and the American Academy of Underwater Sciences promoting safe diving practices and emergency support.

The Aquarium is an active partner with the Fort Fisher area attractions including the Fort Fisher Civil War Museum, Fort Fisher Recreation Area and North Carolina Department of Transportation Ferry Division and participated in the planning, designing and redevelopment of the Fort Fisher boat ramp in coordination of the use with local area attractions.

The Aquarium works with Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence SouthEast as a Southeast portal for ocean research and teachers.

Through partnerships with local non-profits, the Aquarium leverages resources and supports organizations with similar missions. By working with the Friends of the Reserve (FOR), the Aquarium supports the North Carolina Coastal Reserve and N.C. National Estuarine Research Reserve. The Aquarium also actively participates in the Pleasure Island Sea Turtle Project to preserve and protect sea turtles along our beaches.

The Aquarium partners with Mid-Atlantic Marine Educators Association in teacher workshops and other professional development opportunities, annual conference sponsorships and presentations. The Aquarium is also active on the MAMEA board and represents the Mid-Atlantic region within the National Marine Educators Association.

The Aquariums works with the Military Voucher Program in supporting active duty and retired military personnel by offering admission at a discounted rate.

The Aquarium works with the Wilmington Earth Day Alliance as an active member organizing and implementing Wilmington’s yearly Earth Day Celebration.

The Aquarium is a partner in the Cape Fear Arch Conservation Collaboration, which is comprised of organizations and individuals whose mission is to develop and implement a community conservation vision to build awareness, protection and stewardship of the region’s important natural resources.

The Aquarium’s Coastal Champions program receives generous support from Time Warner Cable’s Connect a Million Minds initiative.