Texas State Aquarium
The Texas State Aquarium is a nonprofit aquarium located in Corpus Christi, Texas, United States. It is dedicated to promoting environmental conservation and rehabilitation of the wildlife of the Gulf of Mexico. It has been accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums since 1995.
It all began in 1969 with the dream of what corpus christi could be. Visionary community leaders had a bold, yet simple purpose with the texas state aquarium - create educationally enriching and entertaining exhibits and programs to connect people with the nature, and inspire them to care for, and ultimately help conserve the gulf of mexico. Today, after being open to the public for more than 25 years and having educated and entertained 13 million visitors, the texas state aquarium is the leading attraction in south texas, an economic driver of the coastal bend tourism economy, a regional environmental education center reaching more than 70,000 students each year, and an award-winning center for wildlife care and rehabilitation. Beyond our education programs, the aquarium has worked diligently to organize and carry out beach clean-up events in partnership with the texas general land office. In addition to coordinating these efforts, tsa staff conduct educational programs that highlight the effects garbage has on regional wildlife. Finally, our wildlife rehabilitation program "second chances wildlife rehabilitation program" ministers to the needs of hundreds of injured shore and water birds, marine turtles, and marine mammals each year. In 2017 alone, we admitted 522 animals including 66 shorebirds, 283 raptors, and 173 sea turtles. 206 of these animals were treated and released into the wild, including 137 sea turtles. It is through these and many more programs that the texas state aquarium helps preserve our region's rich environmental heritage and empowers millions of visitors to take action to help preserve and protect our natural environment. And finally, as a private, not-for-profit institution, the aquarium has a tremendous economic impact (over 63 million in 2017) without the need for city, county, or state funding subsidies for operations.
At the heart of the aquarium's mission is environmental education. In 2017, over 73,000 students experienced the aquarium through our outreach and distance learning programs, camps, and on-site programs. With the opening of the caribbean journey expansion in May of 2017, students are now given the opportunity to explore and discover the various sea life and habitats of the caribbean sea in addition to the gulf of mexico. The 72,000 sq ft caribbean journey addition replicates the flora and fauna of the the sian ka'an biosphere preserve, a biodiverse region in mexico's yucatan peninsula, so students are now exposed to a lush jungle, simulated mayan ruins, a cenote, and various underwater habitats. Immersive and engaging programs offered through the texas state aquarium's flint hills resources center for excellence in stem education allow us to reach local students as well as conduct virtual programs with students worldwide. The aquarium also continues to conduct professional development sessions for hundreds of teachers each year.