Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans, Louisiana

The Aquarium of the Americas is located at 1 Canal Street, in New Orleans, Louisiana. The aquarium is operated by the Audubon Society, an organization devoted to wildlife and environmental conservation and preservation. The goal of the aquarium is to provide guests with an outstanding experience filled with educational information about the natural world. Exhibits focus on a wide diversity of wildlife and are designed to enhance the care and longevity of animals through research and educational programs.

The aquarium is located along the banks of the Mississippi River, at the edge of the French Quarter. Opened in 1990, the aquarium focuses on the marine life of the Americas. Exhibits at the Aquarium feature displays devoted to showcasing particular regions of North and South America. The aquarium has approximately 10,000 different animals and represents 530 species.

The Caribbean Reef Exhibit is located on the 1st floor, and focuses on a complex coral reef. The exhibit is composed of a 132,000-gallon tank made of clear glass. Measuring 30 feet long, inside the display is a tunnel which features a walkway allowing guests to view a wide array of aquatic life.

Also located on the first floor is the Gulf of Mexico exhibit. The display features a 400,000-gallon tank filled with various forms of marine life that make their home in the Gulf of Mexico. Guests touring the Gulf exhibit are treated to a tank filled with sharks, stingrays and sea turtles and many other animals.

The second floor of the aquarium is also filled with interesting and educational exhibits. The Amazon exhibit is composed of a large glass cylinder with interior conditions that mimic the humid environment of the Amazon rainforest. Animals featured in the Amazon exhibit include macaws, piranhas and other species found throughout the Amazon.

The Mississippi exhibit features animals found indigenous to the regions of the Mississippi Basin. The gallery features large catfish, paddlefish and a rare, leucistic white alligator, among the many animals and aquatic life. The Aquarium is devoted to the preservation of native Louisiana wildlife and the Mississippi exhibit is one of the few of its kind in the country.

The Aquarium of the Americas is also home to Buck and Emma, two Southern sea otters who originally came from the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California. The Aquarium has a custom-made habitat composed of 25,000 gallons with two swimming pools, rock formations and a behind-the-scenes area. Since being at the Aquarium, Buck and Emma have mated and produced several offspring and the two are featured in daily entertainment shows at the facility.

Designed especially for children, Adventure Island is an exhibit that welcomes its smallest guests to climb, swing, explore and interact with animals of the Aquarium. The highlight of the exhibit is a 2,600- gallon pool which features crown nose rays, the staff encourages guests to touch the rays and assist with feeding the gentle giants. The play area is interactive and filled with excitement and fun for guests of all ages.

Guests can visit any of the interactive and fascinating displays, tour the facilities and enjoy a movie at the IMAX Theater. Also offered are at the facility are free wheel chair rentals, a gift shop, a restaurant, caf, and many other amenities. The Aquarium operates on the premise of weaving a quality guest experience with lively entertainment and engaging exhibits.

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