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Georgia Aquarium Blog

Georgia Aquarium provides an entertaining, engaging and educational experience inspiring stewardship in conservation, research and the appreciation for the animal world. Visit us at

Georgia Aquarium
Atlanta, GA

Marineland Dolphin Adventure
St. Augustine, FL

Conservation Field Station
St. Augustine, FL

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Steller Sea Lion Conservation in Alaska

July 25, 2014

Steller Sea Lion Conservation in Alaska

Earlier this week, Georgia Aquarium Director of Zoological Operations/Animal Training & Interactive Programs, Dennis Christen, embarked for a two-week trip to Alaska in order to assist the Alaska SeaLife Center in conservation efforts for endangered Steller sea lions. Below is an introduction to the project and update on the journey thus far from Dennis himself:

July 23, 2014

Everything is loaded, the team is aboard, and we are about to cast off from the dock in Seward's small boat harbor. Despite the long cruise ahead and a forecast that suggests it will be a bumpy ride, there is an excitement in the air. The course is set for Prince William Sound, a beautiful region at the very northern part of the Gulf of Alaska made infamous by the Exxon Valdez oil spill disaster of 1989.

Dennis on vessel in Alaska

It is 7 p.m. and the plan is to sail through the night to reach our first stop, a haul-out (a predictable location on land where pinnipeds, seals and sea lions, congregate to rest and socialize) of Steller sea lions on the Southeast side of Glacier Island. It will take 13 plus hours to get to there, and while it is a fairly stable haul-out - one in which we routinely encounter large numbers of sea lions- like many things in this part of the world, there are never any guarantees and only time will tell if we will see them there in the morning.

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Creeks to Coast: Day 6

July 18, 2014

Creeks to Coasts: Day 6

Throughout the week, our educators in the Creeks to Coast workshop, presented by Georgia Power and Georgia-Pacific, have journeyed from the headwaters of the Chattahoochee River all the way to the Providence Canyon and lower Chattahoochee. We have enjoyed sharing the educators’ daily reflections and hope you have too! See below their Day 6 account:

Monday, July 14, 2014

Ruth Klingman, Putnam Academy of Arts and Sciences:

Creeks to coast is the best! There is so much that I have learned, it is difficult to even think what my favorite activity is. We visited the NERRS Nature Center today and I really enjoyed the lab work. We cracked apart a cluster of oysters and lo and behold, it was teeming with life. At first it scared me to death and I squealed when the tiny mud crabs ran out of the oysters. Then I forgot to be scared when I saw the variety of creatures in this small part of the bay floor. Using only a handful of oysters as a habitat, we saw and recorded 12 different organisms; what a great diversity. I cannot wait to go home to coastal Florida and explore my local habitats!

Teachers Amanda Kessler and Ruth Klingman exploring the life supported by Apalachicola oyster reefs.

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Creeks to Coast: Day 5

July 18, 2014

Creeks to Coasts: Day 5

Sunday, July 13 was a day of adventure for the participants in the Creeks to Coast workshop, sponsored by Georgia Power and Georgia-Pacific. From hiking Providence Canyon to exploring long leaf pine communities, it was a day of preservation, history and exploration. Read more in some of the educators’ daily reflections:

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Arron Haynes, Dawson County High School:

Today was an OUTSTANDING day!! The best part was going to Providence Canyon. Truth be told, I really had never heard of the place until last year so I was pretty stoked when I heard it was a part of the Georgia Aquarium Creeks to Coast teacher workshop.

Teacher Arron Haynes in awe of the depth of Providence Canyon Providence Canyon, Georgia

As a hiker, I have been to many state parks across Georgia and still I had not a clue. Wow was I missing out!!! Obviously seeing how man can have an impact was interesting, but boy oh boy, to see what nature can do to an area, devastating it while at the same time making one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. The contrast of the colors in definitive banding just knocked your socks off and then to be able to stand where a creek arose from the ground to begin moving sediment by the bucket loads was simply amazing! After getting to see how it was formed, we were pretty much turned loose to explore and that was well worth the price of admission!

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