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  • Waikiki Aquarium

Waikiki Aquarium Location / Contact:
2777 Kalakaua Avenue
Honolulu, HI 96815
Phone: 808-923-9741
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Web Site: http://www.waquarium.org
Description/Comments:
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Founded in 1904 and administered by the University of Hawai'i at Manoa since 1919, the Waikiki Aquarium is located on the shoreline of Waikiki Beach next to a living reef and across from Kapiolani Park. The Aquarium -- second oldest in the U.S. -- showcases more than 500 marine species, and maintains more than 3,500 marine specimens. Public exhibits, education programs and research focus on the unique aquatic life of Hawai'i and the tropical Pacific.

The Aquarium welcomes more than 320,000 visitors annually, and is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. except Honolulu Marathon Sunday and Christmas Day. Admission is $12 for visitors; $8 for local residents and active duty military with ID, $5 for senior citizens and juniors ages four to 12; and free for children three and under and Friends of Waikiki Aquarium (FOWA) members.

MISSION:
To inspire and promote understanding, appreciationand conservation of Pacific marine life.

DESCRIPTION:
Founded in 1904, the Waikiki Aquarium is the thirdoldest public aquarium in the United States. A part of the University ofHawai`i at Manoa since 1919, it is located next to a living reef on the Waikikishoreline. Exhibits, programs, and research focus on the aquatic life ofHawai`i and the tropical Pacific, with roughly 320,000 people visiting theAquarium each year. Over 3,500 organisms are on exhibit representing more than500 species of aquatic animals and plants.

EXHIBITS:
Waikiki Aquarium exhibits focus on the diversity ofaquatic, shoreline and coral reef habitats and living communities of Hawai`i andthe tropical Pacific. Among the highlights:

  • Corals Are Alive! interactive exhibitsshowcasing corals, their biology and conservation
  • SeaVisions Theatre shows videos thatillustrate shoreline conservation and how you can be a responsible reefvisitor
  • South Pacific Marine Communities featuresSouth Pacific habitats and species, including colorful reef corals and fishes,giant clams, groupers and snappers and intriguing partnerships such asanemonefishes and their host sea anemones
  • Hawaiian Marine Communities recreatesHawaiian habitats from wave-swept surge zone to deep reef slopes, and from youngto ancient reefs; celebrates distinctive reef life, including the longnosebutterflyfish
  • Ocean Drifters Gallery features a1,000-gallon moon jelly tank and a seasonally changing jelly wall that maycontain white-spotted jellies, blue blubbers, sea nettles, box jellies andctenophores
  • Hunters on the Reef 35,000-gallon exhibitis home to Hawaiian sharks and jacks; shark interpretive panels introduce sharkbiology, research, conservation and safety. New Spyball camera provides up closeshark encounters in real time on a television screen
  • Edge of the Reef naturalistic shorelineexhibit offering opportunities for supervised observation and hands-oninteractions with selected marine life
  • The Coral Farm exhibit and working researchfacility for propagation of reef corals
  • Giant Clams exhibit and working researchfacility for propagation of clams
  • Hawaiian Monk Seal Habitat features theendangered Hawaiian Monk Seal found only in the Hawaiian Islands
  • Aquaculture features moi, a popular foodfish, whose numbers have declined in the wild
  • Coastal Gardens with native Hawaiian plantsadapted for life close to the sea
ENDANGERED SPECIES:
Hawaiian monk seals; ‘öhai (endemicHawaiian coastal plant)

UNIQUE SPECIES:
Pacific giant clams; Hawaiian stream gobies; raredeep-reef butterflyfish; bearded armorheads; masked angelfish; and diversenative coastal plants

CONSERVATION & RESEARCH:
The Waikiki Aquarium is a working research facility,conducting numerous conservation and research programs, including:

  • Husbandry, nutrition and behavior of aquatic and marineaquarium specimens
  • Husbandry and propagation of chamberednautilus
  • Spawning behavior, larval rearing, and propagationpotential of selected reef fishes
  • Identification & treatment of diseases, parasiteinfections and other ailments of aquarium marine life
  • Coral husbandry, propagation and conservation
  • Hawaiian monk seal metabolic and bacteriologicalresearch
  • Giant clam husbandry and propagation
  • Sea jelly husbandry and propagation
  • Deep reef coral research
  • Coral Ark: archiving and husbandry of rare Hawaiiancorals
EDUCATION PROGRAMS:
The Waikiki Aquarium offers numerous education programs,including:

  • Interpretive services: staff or volunteers enrichthe visitor experience with explanations of the exhibits, demonstrations, andhands-on experiences
  • Self-tour opportunities for individuals andgroups: interpretive graphics & exhibits, handouts areavailable.
  • School Program: presentations and docent-assistedtours for school groups, grades K - 6
  • Outreach and special request presentations forschools and community groups
  • Community Enrichment Program: year-round naturalhistory fieldtrips, classes, and workshops for children, families, andadults
  • Information services: staff answer questions fromvisitors & community on marine and aquarium-science relatedtopics
OPPORTUNITIES:
The Waikiki Aquarium affords a number of opportunitiesto get involved through:

  • Membership: Join the Friends of theWaikïkï Aquarium (FOWA) to enjoy the annual benefits of freeadmission, 20% discount at the Natural Selections gift shop, quarterly mailingsof our beautiful and informative magazine Kilo i’a, free salt waterpick-up, and facility rental privileges at “Family” and“Family Plus” levels. To select the membership level right for you,please see the Visitor Services staff or contact Events and Membership ManagerRaina Fujitani at (808) 440-9008 for more information.
  • Volunteerism: When you donate your time andcuriosity to the Waikiki Aquarium, you are rewarded with diverse and challengingopportunities to help make a difference!
    • Education– Docents provide on-site presentations and tours to elementary schoolgroups and provide outreach programs for school and community groups. Interpreters at the Edge of the Reef exhibit assist visitors and provideup-close observations of Hawaiian marine life.
    • LiveExhibits – Assist with husbandry, tank maintenance andfeeding.
    • NaturalSelection Shop – Assist with stocking inventory and sales.
    • Membership/PublicRelations/Special Events - Assist with bulk mail outs & communicationswith Aquarium members, public relations surveys, record-keeping and specialevents.
AWARDS:
The Waikiki Aquarium has received several awards for itsresearch and conservation efforts, including:

  • 2008 Keep It Hawai`i Award
  • 2003 Munson Aquatic Conservation Exhibit (M.A.C.E.) Awardfrom the American Zoo & Aquarium Association (AZA) for South Pacific MarineCommunities exhibit
  • 2003 Edward H. Bean Award from AZA for Long Term TropicalPacific Coral Propagation Program
DIRECTOR: Dr. AndrewRossiter

EMPLOYEES: 35 full-time, 36 part-time, 33affiliate staff

HOURS: 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily (exceptHonolulu Marathon Sunday and Christmas Day)

ADMISSION: $12 for visitors; $8 for local residents and active duty military with ID, $5 for senior citizens and juniors ages four to 12; and free for children three and under and Friends of Waikiki Aquarium (FOWA) members.


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