Georgia Aquarium showcases critical role of marine life in our communities 

Kids in front of a tank at the Georgia aquarium

The Georgia Aquarium is a world leader in aquatic research, animal care, and conservation, but it’s also a community treasure that helps educate students and enthralls all.

The most important thing it does?  “We are a nonprofit striving to inspire awareness and preservation of our ocean and aquatic animals worldwide,” said Molly Johnson, manager of education programs.

“We work each and every day to give our guests of all ages and walks of life an opportunity to experience our oceans and immerse themselves among all the wondrous marine life we have to share,” Johnson said. “Like other accredited facilities, Georgia Aquarium works to push for an understanding of the underwater world and apply new discoveries to the conservation of aquatic life.”

Their mission is critical to serving the needs of our communities.

“Much of our food, goods, and medicines can be tied back to our oceans,” Johnson said. “Most Georgians don’t live near the ocean and may never see our coastline, but all waterways lead to the ocean. What we do in and around our waters impacts aquatic life. Together, we can improve the habitats these organisms call home.”

Visitors to the aquarium can experience sharks and stingrays, sea lions and dolphins, African penguins and beluga whales, and so much more. There are several ways to interact with certain species, and even a webcam to watch a sea otter live.

The aquarium and Publix Super Markets Charities want to help share that information so the youngest among us can appreciate the riches of the sea. The aquarium uses a Publix Charities’ scholarship to assist Title I schools in several metro-area Atlanta school districts to take field trips to the Georgia Aquarium.

“These are students who otherwise may never have been given the opportunity to visit Georgia Aquarium to see, learn about, and discover the diversity of life in our oceans,” Johnson said. “We are thrilled to offer these students a new experience that gives them ideas to help their communities, our waterways, and our oceans.”

“The aquarium’s school programs create a space for students to discover the aquatic realm in an immersive environment, something they may have never experienced,” Johnson said. “Students discover current conservation efforts and connect with nature. They have a part to play in inventing creative solutions to the problems our oceans are facing as well as being stewards to these amazing environments.”

Teaching students is an important part of the aquarium’s work. “We teach students because we are enthusiastic and passionate about the environment. We want to spread that love and appreciation to each student we encounter,” Johnson said. “We work hard to create an equitable space for all to learn and share their ideas to begin making environmental impacts even at a young age.”