Aquarium of the Americas

Aquarium of the Americas

Infobox zoo
zoo_name=Aquarium of the Americas

image_caption=The Aquarium of the Americas seen from the Mississippi River
location=New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

The Audubon Aquarium of the Americas is a renowned aquarium in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.

Recognized as one of the leading aquariums in the United States, the Aquarium of the Americas is run by the Audubon Institute, which also supervises the Audubon Zoo and Audubon Park (in a different part of the city). The Aquarium is located along the banks of the Mississippi River by the edge of the historic French Quarter off Canal Street, at the upper end of Woldenberg Park. The Aquarium opened in 1990.


As its name implies, the aquarium specializes in aquatic life of the Americas. The exhibits generally feature particular regions throughout North and South America. With 10,000 animals representing 530 species, noteworthy exhibits include:

*A Caribbean reef exhibit featuring a clear, convert|30|ft|m|sing=on|sigfig=1 long tunnel surrounded by a convert|132000|USgal|m3 tank of exemplary sea life;
*An Amazon exhibit, encased in a glass cylinder—effectively a humid, climate-controlled greenhouse that is a prominent feature of the riverfont—that includes macaws, piranhas, and other specimens from the Amazon basin;
*A Mississippi River gallery, featuring catfish, paddlefish, and a leucistic white alligator; and
*A Gulf of Mexico exhibit, featuring a convert|400000|USgal|m3|sigfig=1, convert|17|ft|m|sing=on|sigfig=1 tall tank of sharks, sea turtles, and stingrays from the Gulf.

The Aquarium of the Americas also hosts an IMAX theater.

Katrina damage and aftermath

In 2005, the facilities were affected by Hurricane Katrina. Though the structure survived the initial hurricane and was on high ground above the subsequent flooding of most of the city, electricity outages continued and the backup power generators were unable to fully operate the sophisticated life support systems needed to keep the animals alive. Aquarium staffers were forced to evacuate the facility only to return four days later to discover that most of the 10,000 fish did not survive. [cite web| url=| title=Audubon Nature Institute FAQs|year=2005|publisher:| accessdate=2006-08-29] [cite web| url=| title=Adopt-A-Fish|year=2005|publisher:| accessdate=2006-08-29]

The aquarium reopened on May 26, 2006. They are currently running an Adopt-an-Animal program to solicit funds for rebuilding. Since Hurricane Katrina, the Aquarium has improved, adding more species in their Caribbean and jellyfish exhibits, as well as a large revamp to the Gulf of Mexico tank. [cite web| url=| title=Refilling the Aquarium|date=14 May 2006|publisher:| accessdate=2006-08-29]


External links

* [ Aquarium visitors thrown in shark tank] , "BBC News", 8 August 2002
* [ Aquarium of the Americas website]

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