Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Georgia Aquarium to Celebrate Sea Otter Awareness Week

Guests are invited to join the Georgia Aquarium in celebrating Sea Otter Awareness Week Sept 21 – 27, 2008. The Aquarium, along with sea otters Oz and Gracie, will educate visitors regarding conservation efforts and facts about sea otters through exciting activities, interactive storytelling and educational information.

Throughout the week, Oz and Gracie will be profiled, highlighting their unique personalities and journey to the Aquarium. Guests will learn about the Aquarium’s rehabilitation efforts and 4R Program that is designed to positively impact the health and well-being of aquatic life from around the world. Additionally, biologists will be on-hand to conduct training and enrichment sessions with the sea others.

As a keystone species, sea otters play an integral role in the ecosystem and health of our oceans. They help maintain the balance among thousands of kelp forest inhabitants. Sea otters also act as an indicator species, meaning that their high rates of disease may be a warning for both marine ecosystems and human health. In order to help the plight of the sea otter, public awareness and education is imperative. Currently, they are listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List and are protected by the Endangered Species Act and The Marine Mammal Protection Act. By becoming an advocate for sea otters and other aquatic life, individuals can make a difference by protecting and saving the marine environment that sea otters call home.
Daily activities for Sea Otter Awareness Week include:

· Arts & Crafts – Guests can create their own sea otter mask!
· Animal Interpreters – On-hand to educate guests about sea otters.
· Conservation Carts – Sea otter pelts and replica otter skulls will be available to touch and examine.
· Plus biologist sessions and enrichment activities with Oz and Gracie, storytelling, videos and more!

For additional information on Sea Otter Awareness Week please visit the Aquarium’s Web site at www.georgiaaquarium.org/visitUs/seaotterweek.aspx or call 404-581-4000.
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