Sunday, June 13, 2010

Georgia Aquarium - Atlanta, Georgia

On November 23, 2005, Georgia Aquarium officially opened its doors to the public. As the world’s largest aquarium, Georgia Aquarium features more animals than any other aquarium in more than eight million gallons of water. Through a path of more than sixty exhibits, the Aquarium tells a global water story, with features modeled after the greatest zoos and aquariums in the world. Each majestic exhibit is designed to inspire, entertain and educate.

In 1979, Bernie Marcus co-founded The Home Depot, opening its first stores and its headquarters in Atlanta, GA. By revolutionizing the home improvement industry, The Home Depot became one of the fastest growing companies in America. Bernie Marcus knew The Home Depot would not have achieved its full potential without the incredible support of the citizens of Atlanta and Georgia, including customers, associates and stockholders. Marcus desired to give back to the great community of Atlanta through a gift that reached as many different lives as possible, just as The Home Depot has touched the lives of a broad and diverse customer base. In his vision, he also wanted to promote economic impact for the city and state, bring growth and new jobs and help create a destination to inspire visitors to stay - and stay longer.

In 2003, Marcus announced his gift to the city of Atlanta – the Georgia Aquarium. Due to Marcus’ $250 million gift to Georgia, the Aquarium was able to open debt free.

Georgia Aquarium is an entertaining, intriguing and educational experience for guests of all ages. While promoting a fun and enjoyable learning experience, the Aquarium instills in its guests a new appreciation for the world’s aquatic biodiversity.

The Aquarium enhances the Georgia tourism offerings and provides local residents with a world-class entertainment attraction. It is an anchor for downtown’s revitalization efforts being a benefit to both the city and the state. To date, Georgia Aquarium has attracted more than six million visitors and employs more than 220 employees and a dedicated core of more than 1,000 volunteers.

The Aquarium has dedicated twenty-five percent of the public floor space to educating students of all ages who visit the Aquarium. The Aquarium utilizes innovative technologies as well as interactive and interdisciplinary techniques to ensure that students have an enjoyable academic experience.

One of the Georgia Aquarium’s major goals is to be the leading facility for aquatic animal conservation and research. The state-of-the-art animal health facility, the Correll Center for Aquatic Animal Health, is 10,000 square feet and was designed by world class veterinarian professionals and conservation organizations. It is the only integration of an aquarium and a veterinarian teaching hospital. On a more global scale, the Georgia Aquarium supports, conducts and leads research on environmental and conservation issues.

Georgia Aquarium is a 501(c)3 organization, and relies on community support to fund special programs including education and veterinary services.

The above is reprinted from the Georgia Aquarium website.  The pictures are those I took while visiting the Georgia Aquarium on June 5.

I found the aquarium fascinating and I'm intrigued by the quantity as well as the quality of the education the aquarium offers.  The generosity of Bernie Marcus has given the city an incredible landmark for Atlanta.  This is a must see attraction for anyone visiting Atlanta.

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