Conservation

The Oklahoma Aquarium’s mission statement, “To educate and inspire conservation of our aquatic world through interactive discovery,” means that we hope the more you learn about our world’s waters and its inhabitants, the more you will do to protect our natural resources. We hope you will visit the Oklahoma Aquarium to learn in our unique facility.

Research

The brilliant biology staff at the Oklahoma Aquarium is always looking for new and inventive ways to revolutionize the environmental and humane responsibilities of aquariums and related industries. Our biologists are currently conducting research in several areas that will improve the quality of life for the animals at our aquarium and for future acquisitions.

One of the projects currently being researched is the pursuit of better methods of water filtration for improved health of aquarium animals. The use of ozone for the sterilization of water has proven successful. In addition, our staff is currently testing a new theory in the handling of sharks to reduce the metabolic stress response. It is possible that by handling the animals regularly, the sharks will have a higher survival rate during transport or relocation. The health and safety of our animals is priority number one.

Coral reefs are disappearing in the wild, our research staff is studying the functionality of fluorescent proteins within corals, as well as the relationship with the algae that resides within the coral. Identifying which corals are hardier can help protect wild populations.

In order to eliminate the need for animal acquisition from the ocean, our biology staff practices captive rearing, or raising animals in captivity for the purpose of education. These animals currently include jellyfish, seahorses and several species of sharks. The practice of fragging coral, where new corals are grown from cut pieces, helps to preserve our already endangered coral reefs of the world. These efforts are also distributed with other aquariums nation-wide, sharing the ability to avoid taking animals from the wild, and promoting conservation of our world’s oceans.

Recognition

The Oklahoma Aquarium has worked in cooperation of NOAA, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, Dateline NBC and BBC to create documentaries and research valuable to the scientific community. Our research staff has been awarded a National Science Foundation scholarship for our innovative coral research. NOAA worked with our biology team to conduct tests for creating stronger mooring lines for weather buoys, and our magnificent bull sharks were able to eliminate the weaker materials with their extremely sharp teeth and powerful jaws. Our shark exhibit has been included in four different documentary features relating to the life history, biology and behavior of sharks. Special guests to our Aquarium have included Nigel Marvin, Dr. Jane Goodall, Titanic’s Robert D. Ballard and BBC’s Mike DeGruy. Look for our sharks during the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week in a program called “The Perfect Shark,” filmed by the BBC.

 

If you would like more information or to donate directly to the Oklahoma Aquarium’s research efforts, please contact:

Ann Money, Education Programs and Research, 918-528-1531 or  amoney@okaquarium.org