Loveland Living Planet Aquarium

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Loveland Living Planet Aquarium
Loveland Living Planet Aquarium logo.png
Date openedFebruary 28, 1999
LocationDraper, Utah, United States[1]
Coordinates40°33′36″N 111°52′17″W / 40.5599°N 111.8714°W / 40.5599; -111.8714Coordinates: 40°33′36″N 111°52′17″W / 40.5599°N 111.8714°W / 40.5599; -111.8714
Floor space136,000 sq ft (12,600 m2)
No. of animals2,484[2]
No. of species450+
Volume of largest tank300,000 US gallons (1,100,000 L)
Total volume of tanks600,000 US gallons (2,271,000 L) [3]
Annual visitors1 million +[4]
Memberships30,000
Major exhibits74
Websitewww.thelivingplanet.com

The Loveland Living Planet Aquarium' is located in Draper, Utah, United States. It currently houses 4,500 animals representing 550 species. The public aquarium currently consists of five main exhibits.

History[edit]

The Loveland Living Planet Aquarium was founded in 1997 by Brent Andersen,[5] a Utah native and marine biology graduate from the University of California Santa Barbara. It is a regional attraction with over 850,000 annual visitors. The initial plan was to build a 90,000 square feet (8,400 m2) aquarium that showed ecosystems from around the world. Site locations for the aquarium were considered in Salt Lake County and Utah County, and feasibility studies indicated downtown Salt Lake City would be the best location.[citation needed] The first education component was launched in February 1999, when the Aquavan was outfitted with educational portable marine exhibits and began visiting Utah schools.[citation needed]

In 2004, in order to garner support for the full-size aquarium, the young organization opened a 10,000 sq ft exhibit at the Gateway Mall in downtown Salt Lake offering an exclusive experience of marine and freshwater life that was not then available in Utah's arid climate. The Living Planet Aquarium Preview Exhibit featured freshwater fish, sharks, stingrays, eels, a coral reef, a giant octopus, a small theater, and other interactive exhibits.[citation needed] Attendance reached over 150,000 visitors per year the first two years and the small space was quickly outgrown.[citation needed] The Aquarium relocated in June 2006 to a much larger 43,000 square feet (4,000 m2) space in Sandy, Utah. Attendance reached 460,000 visitors per year. The long range plan to eventually construct a campus that would house an Aquarium and a Science Learning Center continued to get support from the community over the next 4 years and in 2010 several prominent members of the business community joined to lead the Board of Trustees including Ken Murdock, Jim Loveland, Tim Cosgrove, Jeff Flamm, Rick White, Ron Nielsen, Michele Hilton and Paul Hutchinson.[citation needed] . The Loveland Family Foundation had been a long time donor, and in 2011 presented a lead gift that allowed the organization to accelerate fundraising, purchase 17 acres of land and raise $27 million to build the Aquarium's permanent home in Draper, Utah..[citation needed] The 136,000 square feet (12,600 m2) Loveland Living Planet Aquarium opened to the public on March 24, 2014 and saw over 1.1 million visitors the first year of operation.[citation needed] The Aquarium is a 501(c)(3)non-profit organization.

Exhibits[edit]

Ocean Explorer[edit]

Ocean Explorer features saltwater species from all over the world including sea jellies, eels, seahorses and seven species of sharks. Shark species include brown-banded bamboo sharks, nurse sharks, sandbar sharks, blacktip reef sharks, whitetip reef sharks, grey reef sharks, and zebra sharks. One of the most popular features is the 40-foot shark tunnel. Guests can view the sharks, sea turtles and sting rays swimming just inches away! The shark tunnel weighs 26,000 pounds and was lifted through the roof of the aquarium with a crane. The tunnel is made from 3.5 inch thick acrylic.[6]

Journey to South America[edit]

Journey to South America takes you through the rain forests of South America, where you will encounter a 14-foot anaconda, piranha, caiman, desert insects, tree boas, electric eels, tree frogs and Amazon giants. The exhibit also educates guests about the biodiversity of rain forest ecosystems, the benefits rain forests provide us and how we all can help protect these amazing habitats![7]

Discover Utah[edit]

Discover Utah houses some of Utah's threatened and endangered species such as June suckers and least chub. The largest exhibit in this gallery features three male North American river otters which will serve to educate visitors about river otters, otter reintroduction efforts, and release locations in Utah. Families can learn all about the importance of preserving and protecting Utah's waterways as they explore and experience this exhibit.[8]

Antarctic Adventure[edit]

Antarctic Adventure immerses guests in a Falkland Islands research station where they will meet gentoo penguins.[9]

Expedition: Asia[edit]

Expedition: Asia opened on June 15, 2016. The traveling exhibit features three male Asian small-clawed otters, three Asian arowana, and many different species of Asian birds, fish, and reptiles. The main feature of Expedition: Asia are the aquarium's two clouded leopards, Koshi and Rhu.[10]

Community outreach[edit]

The aquarium's education department currently operates two outreach programs: the Utah Waters Van[11] and the Rain forest Van.[12] The outreach programs visit over 450 elementary schools statewide each year, reaching nearly 80,000 students. Field trip programs for pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade and a teacher professional development program with resources for fourth grade teachers are offered.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wadley, Carma (31 May 2009). "Living Planet Aquarium offers a fun-filled educational experience for kids of all ages". Deseret News. Archived from the original on 21 June 2017. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  2. ^ "Living Planet Aquarium Exhibits". Archived from the original on 17 March 2015.
  3. ^ "Utah Aquarium Breaks Ground October 24". Thelivingplanet.com. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 June 2017. Retrieved 23 June 2017.
  4. ^ Ostergar, Martha (27 March 2015). "Photos: Loveland Living Aquarium". KSL.
  5. ^ Knudson, Max B. (19 Feb 1998). "Duo set sights on huge Living Planet Aquarium for Utah". Deseret News. Archived from the original on 21 June 2017. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  6. ^ "Ocean Explorer". Loveland Living Planet Aquarium. Archived from the original on 23 June 2017. Retrieved 23 June 2017.
  7. ^ "Journey to South America". Loveland Living Planet Aquarium. Archived from the original on 23 June 2017. Retrieved 23 June 2017.
  8. ^ "Discover Utah". Loveland Living Planet Aquarium. Archived from the original on 23 June 2017. Retrieved 23 June 2017.
  9. ^ "Antarctic Adventure". Loveland Living Planet Aquarium. Archived from the original on 23 June 2017. Retrieved 23 June 2017.
  10. ^ "Expedition: Asia". Loveland Living Planet Aquarium. Archived from the original on 23 June 2017. Retrieved 23 June 2017.
  11. ^ Hayes, Elyse (30 May 2002). "New 'water' vans deliver education to students". Deseret News. Archived from the original on 20 July 2012.
  12. ^ Campbell, Joel (14 December 1999). "Van Puts Rain Forest In The Classroom". Deseret News. Retrieved 20 July 2012.

External links[edit]