Guests at the NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island contributed more than $56,000 toward conservation in fiscal year 2016/2017 by rounding up their admission and gift shop purchases to the nearest dollar. The “Round Up for Conservation” program, operated at all three NC Aquariums and Jennette’s Pier, raises funding for important wildlife research and assistance.
“Whether it’s five cents or 95 cents, these donations add up to real money that have a real impact,” said NC Aquarium Society Director of Development Jay Barnes. “It’s an easy but important way to be part of the aquarium’s conservation mission.”
Money raised through “Round Up for Conservation” is managed by the nonprofit NC Aquarium Society, which administers private donations to the NC Aquarium system. Guests donated a total of $113,533 across the NC Aquariums at Roanoke Island, Pine Knoll Shores, Fort Fisher, and Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head in fiscal year 2016/2017.
“Round Up for Conservation” funds are allocated specifically for projects that aim to preserve animal species, and are distributed based on conservation grant applications submitted by each aquarium. Those can include shark tagging to better understand shark populations, or a breeding program for the Carolina gopher frog to bring it back from near-extinction. At the NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island, planned conservation efforts include a lionfish mitigation study examining the best way to protect native species from the invasive fish, and collaborative research into the reproduction behavior of sand tiger sharks.
The “Round Up for Conservation” program began in 2014 as an easy way for aquarium visitors to contribute a little extra to the aquarium’s conservation efforts. Signs in and around the NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island remind guests about the opportunity to donate. Cashiers at the NCARI ticket window and in the gift shop ask customers if they would like to round up their total to the nearest dollar to help fund conservation goals, and many customers generously agree.
“We just want to say a big ‘Thank you,’ to our guests for participating,” said NCARI Guest Service Coordinator Jennifer Gamiel. “We’re grateful they choose us to come and visit, but especially grateful for their generosity.”
Look for the "Round Up for Conservation" signs during your next visit to the NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island, and join in to help protect and conserve threatened species!