Conservation in Action
Learn about all our conservation projects, including the many partnerships we have beyond the Aquarium walls.
Thirty By Thirty Initiative
Thirty by Thirty, or simply 30x30, is an initiative to designate 30% of U.S. land and waters as protected space by the year 2030. The campaign is part of a larger movement that calls for more environmental protection and the safeguarding of natural habitats worldwide.READ MORE
Loggerhead Sea Turtle Hatchling & Release
One of our most popular exhibits provides more than just a chance to see adorable baby sea turtles. These hatchlings were selected from nests in the coastal Virginia area and brought to the Aquarium for observation, public display, and eventual release. After a year of rearing by our animal care staff, they will be released off the coast of Virginia and North Carolina, fitted with trackers so we can continue to learn.READ MORE
SECORE Coral Restoration
The Virginia Aquarium is home to a wide variety of live coral species, and our team recognizes the importance of healthy coral to healthy oceans. As a silver partner with SECORE (Sexual Coral Reproduction), the Aquarium not only helps financially, but also by providing field support for research and other projects like their annual workshop in Curacao.LEARN MORE
OspreyWatch is a global monitoring project where citizens and scientists collect data on breeding osprey. The Virginia Aquarium, along with Reese Lukei, a local raptor expert, works with the Center for Conservation Biology to monitor osprey nests and chicks throughout the breeding season, on the Lynnhaven River, home to the largest population of breeding osprey.READ MORE
Frogs and toads play an important role in the ecosystem, serving as both predator and prey, and living in both aquatic and terrestrial environments. Because of this, they are indicators of environmental health, and monitoring their populations is key. FrogWatch USA volunteers help in this important research. They learn to identify local frog and toad species by their calls during the breeding season and record observations. Watch for announcements on ways you can get involved!LEARN MORE
Water Quality Monitoring
Approved by the Commonwealth of Virginia's Department of Environmental Quality, the Virginia Aquarium's water quality lab can process water samples from community members interested in monitoring local waterways. You can help us keep the water clean by participating!WATER TESTING
Hawk Conservancy Trust
The HCT, started in 1952 in Andover England as a local attempt , to gain public interest in birds of prey, and today produces conservation work on a global scale. With the cooperation of organizations and conservation groups around the world, HCT delivers conservation, education, rehabilitation, and research programs and generates awareness for birds of prey, their habitats and the problems they face.
Turtle Survival Alliance
TSA is an action-oriented global partnership, focusing on species that are at high risk of extinction, and working in turtle diversity hotspots around the world. The TSA is a recognized force for turtle conservation globally by taking actions to restore populations in the wild, establish assurance colonies of species in captivity, and build capacity to conserve species within their range country.
AZA Sea Turtle SAFE
The Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA): Saving Animals From Extinction (SAFE) Program is a collaboration of AZA members with field-based partners working to conserve threatened species. The Sea Turtle SAFE Program is one example, and the Aquarium is leading this effort to protect the world’s turtles, with a focus on critically endangered Kemp’s ridleys and Eastern Pacific leatherbacks.
Tomistoma Task Force (IUCN CSG)
Once widespread throughout Southeast Asia, the Tomistoma or Malaysian gharial, fell victim to severe habitat reduction from commercial use. Institutions that exhibit this croc species, like the Virginia Aquarium, financially support conservation and research, establish husbandry guidelines, and promote the species to the public through events like World Tomistoma Day to raise awareness about these animals.LEARN MORE
Komodo Dragon SSP
Komodo dragons are the largest living lizards but their small, isolated island habitat makes the entire wild population vulnerable to catastrophic natural events. The Indonesian-based Komodo Survival Program carefully monitors Komodo populations, gathering and storing vital conservation data. The Virginia Aquarium aids in this mission financially, by spreading awareness, and by helping to maintain viable populations should their vulnerable home range experience catastrophe.LEARN MORE
StAR Zebra Shark Project
Zebra sharks, once commonly spotted in Southeast Asia’s shallow reef habitat, are now locally extinct. The Stegostoma tigrinum Augmentation and Recovery Project is a collaboration of AZA facilities like the Virginia Aquarium and other conservation groups working to establish healthy, self-sustaining populations of zebra sharks in the waters off of Indonesia through strong breeding and juvenile release programs.LEARN MORE