Conservation Initiatives

Dolphin Research

We partner with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to perform marine mammal health and environmental risk assessment (HERA) studies on bottlenose dolphin populations. In these studies, wild dolphins are secured from the water and undergo a complete physical exam. After this dolphin “checkup,” the animals are released back into their habitat. HERA studies closely examine how diseases in bottlenose dolphins are related to human activity and provide insight into the overall health of the ecosystem. Learn more.


Good Catch

Formerly known as the Sustainable Seafood Initiative, Good Catch generates awareness and leads communities in support of healthy fisheries and consumption of responsibly harvested seafood. The program has more than 125 partner restaurants, caterers, purveyors and markets. Learn more.

You can make a Good Catch by pledging to Ask Before You Order. Whether you’re at your local grocery store, fish market or favorite restaurant, start the conversation about sustainable seafood. Holding seafood purveyors accountable will spark change. Make the pledge today.

Marine Debris and Plastics Initiative

Through education and action, we are working to reduce the negative impact of plastics on our environment. From holding beach sweeps on Folly Beach to hosting zero-waste special events, we set an example for waste sustainability. We’re part of a coalition to explore ways to minimize the use of single-use plastics in the Charleston metropolitan area. In 2016, we joined the Aquarium Conservation Partners, a consortium of top U.S. Aquariums, actively crafting solutions to the most pressing challenges facing ocean health. The Aquarium will host a Global Plastic Summit in 2017, designed to convene the top authorities on policy, advocacy and innovation to discuss methods for addressing the problem of plastics debris, and its impact on both marine and terrestrial life. Learn more.

Resilience Initiative for Coastal Education

As the sea level rises, a resilience strategy is critical for Lowcountry communities to address the changing landscape together. Sea level rise, storm surge and changing ocean conditions constitute a serious threat to human health and safety, commerce and culture, and wildlife and natural habitats alike. The goal of the Resilience Initiative for Coastal Education (RICE) is to develop a coordinated resilience strategy for the communities and shoreline of the southeastern Atlantic bight region.

Join us for an upcoming Town Hall Meeting to learn more about how sea level rise may affect you and your community.


Sea Turtle Care Center™

Established in 2000, the Sea Turtle Care Center™ (formerly the Sea Turtle Rescue Program) rehabilitates sick and injured sea turtles and educates the public about conservation of endangered and threatened sea turtle species. In partnership with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, the Sea Turtle Care Center has rescued, rehabilitated and released nearly 200 sea turtles. Learn more.


Discover our most popular species and how you can protect them. Learn more.


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Our state’s teachers enjoy free admission and a discount on membership.  Call (843) 579-8518 to learn more.


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