Driven by our mission to inspire appreciation and conservation of our aquatic environments, the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher Green Team is committed to leading by example in sustainability and sharing expertise as a resource for community partners seeking to enhance their green practices. 


  • Posted TerraCycle® bins for volunteers and staff to recycle unconventional items such as granola bar wrappers and chip bags.
  • Launched on-the-floor recycling bins for visitors in 2018.
  • Guided and supported Sharkbites in becoming a certified Ocean Friendly Establishment  (OFE), phase out single-use plastic items, and switch to compostable products.
  • Focus on sustainability in new-hire orientation.
  • In 2019, had a successful year of inspiring change in staff culture with the single-use plastics challenge.
  • In 2019, implemented wide-scale composting in all behind-the-scenes areas of the Aquarium.
  • As part of the Division-wide goals that were started in 2019, began monitoring water and energy use.
  • Engaged with Foto FX and Aquarium Gift Shop to reduce single-use plastics.
  • Replaced Aquarium water fountains to include water bottle refilling stations. 
  • Regularly host 2-4 roadside cleanups per year for staff and beach sweeps for the community.
  • Recycle old and worn staff uniform shirts.
  • Collect and recycle plastic film, packaging peanuts and air bags.
  • Support Race for the Planet with all funds supporting the Green Team. 
  • Launched an out-of-service wetsuits recycling initiative.
  • Launched battery recycling.
  • Completed a solar feasibility study.

Where we're going

  • LED lights for parking lot.
  • Acquire vehicle charging stations for staff, volunteers and visitors.
  • Seek out best solutions for Styrofoam recycling. 
  • Carpool/shuttle service for staff.
  • Expand composting and recycling services to parking lot, especially in the area with the picnic tables and add more expansive all-in-one TerraCycle® bins to more staff areas at the Aquarium. 
  • Informational display about composting to guide visitors that don’t know how to use it or why we offer it.
  • Engaging staff and volunteers on greener living through classes on making beeswax and other clever DIY ways to refuse single-use plastic.
  • Launching more rewarding and engaging Aquarium staff challenges to eliminate single-use plastics in their daily lives.


green tips & hacks
Better for the Earth. better for you.

Don't: Please do not bring any single-use plastic water bottles nor any other single-use plastic items to the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher.

Do:  Bring a reusable water bottle and take advantage of our convenient refill stations in the Aquarium 

Do: Carpool to the Aquarium when you have a group visiting together, if possible.

Do: Reserve your ticket in advance and use your cell phone to show us your reservation confirmation. No need to print anything!

Don't: Smoke, use tobacco or use an E-cigarette in the Aquarium or outdoor gardens. NCAFF is a smoke-free, tobacco-free environment. E-cigarettes are also not permitted. 

Do: Use the smoking receptacles in the designated smoking areas outside of the garden exit gate.

Do: Pat yourself on the back for supporting a greener planet!