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September 2011 - February 2012

Reaching New Heights

at the surface... . . . with

Tom Schmid tSA preSident And ceo

Greetings members and friends, hope you had an opportunity to visit the Aquarium this summer. By the looks of our admission reports, many of you did! Membership attendance just for the month of June was twice that of 2010. No doubt many of you came to check out our newest attraction, the H-E-B Splash Park. Made possible by the generous support from our friends at H-E-B, this has proved to be one of the most popular additions to the Aquarium. I hope you also had an opportunity to take a stroll along the new Wetlands Boardwalk, made possible through a grant from the Pepsi Refresh Project. Our goal is to add new programs and exhibits—and improve existing ones—every year. We accomplish this through the generous support from folks like you. It’s easy to see the changes we make each year to the “guest side” of our facility and grounds. However, we also invest time and energy into improving our internal operations. That’s one reason why I am so pleased and proud of our team; once again we earned accreditation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Later this year, we will go through the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums accreditation process. The applications that we submit to these organizations are highly detailed, and the onsite inspections are rigorous. From board governance and finance, to animal care and safety, every aspect of our operations is thoroughly examined. During our AZA inspection, the accreditation team specifically praised the appearance and health of our animal collection, our active and involved board of trustees, and our education programs—in particular Aquavision, our Flint Hills Resources Distance Learning Program. They also commented on our “excellent record of growth and sound financial footing.” We would not have achieved these important accreditations without a talented and dedicated team of staff, volunteers, and trustees, and the generous support of our members and donors. Together, we are creating a world-class institution for South Texas, one that merges entertainment and education, conservation and research, economic development and impact. I appreciate your continued support for helping us to grow and prosper.


Texas State Aquarium Earns Accreditation ince opening in 1990, the Texas State Aquarium has grown and changed, offering many more opportunities to connect people with nature. Some enhancements like Dolphin Bay feature magnificent ocean animals; others, like the new H-E-B Splash Park, provide added family fun. What has not changed over the years is the value we place on the animals in our care, and our commitment to meet the highest standards of animal husbandry. A skilled and committed animal care staff is essential, but also important are the many “behind-the-scenes” and support systems in place that make our efforts a success. Sound financial management, on-going staff training, engaging education programs, diverse retail operations—the list goes on and these all play a part in supporting our mission and values. Every five years, the Aquarium is put under a microscope and evaluated by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA). A thorough investigation ensures the Aquarium is and will continue to meet ever-rising accreditation standards. AZA’s top priority is the care


Aquatic exhibits display amazing marine life.


September 2011 - February 2012

current events Dr. David Stelling

Education programs address local and global conservation issues.

of animals; its standards are constantly reviewed and become more demanding each year. The Aquarium was granted accreditation by AZA’s Accreditation Commission this past March, its fourth such endorsement since opening. “Not all aquariums are the same. Texas State Aquarium is one of the best in the world because it has met the highest standards in the world,” said AZA President and CEO Jim Maddy. “It takes hard work and dedication to meet Association of Zoos and Aquariums Accreditation Standards.” In addition to animal care, essential requirements for accreditation include conservation and education. “Members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums are centers of conservation and education, and the National Science Foundation found that zoo and aquarium education

Accreditation from AZA designates the highest standards for animal care, and a vital part of that care at the Texas State Aquarium is provided by Dr. David Stelling, our staff veterinarian. Dr. Stelling joined the Aquarium team in January 2011 and has the primary role of overseeing the healthcare of the entire animal collection. His attention to detail and clinical skills are a huge asset to the Aquarium as we continue to expand and diversify the animal collection. Dr. Stelling graduated from the Iowa State University veterinary school in 1987. He then built a private practice in Miami, Florida with special interest in non-traditional pets like birds, fish, reptiles, ferrets, and rabbits. Before joining the Texas State Aquarium, Dr. Stelling volunteered at the Miami Seaquarium for several years; he also worked treating injured animals at a wildlife rehabilitation center in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Dr. Stelling’s personal interests include the conservation of native wildlife and ecosystems. He credits the Texas State Aquarium’s emphases on education and preservation as key qualities that led to his decision to further his career here.

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Dr. Stelling treats a patient with assistance from Jessica Cantu, Husbandry Assistant The animals are healthy and well cared for.

September 2011 - February 2012


(continued from page 3)

programs are highly effective at teaching people about science,” said Maddy. The accreditation process took nearly a year to complete and included three parts: an application, a two-day inspection, and a hearing before the Accreditation Commission. Aquarium staff began preparations in Spring 2010, and in late August submitted the 25-page application along with 700

A wide variety of audiences take part in Aquarium programs.

The Aquarium facilities are clean and well maintained.

pages of attachments detailing programs, policies, and procedures. Every area is evaluated, including animal and veterinary care, safety, security, conservation, education, interpretation, guest services, staff, volunteers, finances, research, and governing authority. Then in December 2010, a team of trained zoo and aquarium professionals conducted a meticulous on-site inspection. The team looked at all aspects of the Aquarium’s operations, from freezers to food, from lighting to locks. They opened doors, scrutinized records, and interviewed more than 20 staff. By the end of their visit, the team had prepared a thorough, 30-page written report for the Accreditation Commission. The team offered praise for numerous attributes, including an enthusiastic and hard-working staff, a healthy animal collection, sound financial footing, distance learning and offsite educational programs, and an actively engaged Board of Trustees. Finally in March 2011, Tom Schmid, Texas State Aquarium President & CEO was interviewed at a formal Commission hearing. After a short and positive meeting, the Commission granted accreditation to the Aquarium. Staff understands the achievement the designation signifies. “AZA accreditation is the culmination of months of preparations and hard work by every


September 2011 - February 2012

department in the Aquarium. The accreditation process is an opportunity for Aquarium staff to highlight all of the great programs and work that goes on at TSA,” said Jesse Gilbert, the Aquarium’s Director of Animal Husbandry. The Aquarium’s Dolphin Bay marine mammal program also achieved a milestone this spring through its participation in the Atlantic bottlenose dolphin breeding consortium. The Aquarium’s role in this group is to house adolescent male dolphins. Every five years, the dolphin program undergoes a rigorous peer review by the other members of the consortium, with an intense inspection that rivals AZA accreditation. The Aquarium passed inspection with very positive feedback and remarks, affirming that the Aquarium’s

Aquarium staff provides exceptional guest service.

Accredita tio n Standar ds from A to Z Animal care involves skills and knowledge in more than just biology.

The Aquarium’s bird rehabilitation program is a huge contribution to regional conservation efforts.

operations and care of the animals are in line with consortium goals and standards. Later this year, the marine mammal program will be further scrutinized through accreditation with the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums. Members and supporters of the Aquarium can identify other AZA member institutions by their logo and can have assurance they are supporting an organization dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. For more information, please visit

A – Animals! B – Bylaws C – Conservation messages D – Divers in the water E – Emergency plans F – Finances G – Guest services H – Habitat conservation I – Interpretation J – Job descriptions K – Keeper chats L – Library M – Medical records N – Nutrition O – Operating budget P – Preventive maintenance Q – Quarantine R – Research S – Safety Audit Plan T – Training U – USDA inspection reports V – Volunteers W – Water quality X – X-ray machine Y – Youngsters Z – aZa !

Retail Operations Under New Management is proud to announce its partnership with Event Network Inc. (EN), a professional retail operator specializing in zoos and aquariums. EN assumed responsibility for gift shop operations in early June. EN brings a considerable amount of expertise and provides a wide array of quality,


reasonably priced products. Members continue to receive the 10% discount benefit throughout the year. Partnering with EN will allow the Aquarium to focus more attention on its mission of connecting people with nature and inspiring conservation of the Gulf of Mexico while enhancing the guest retail shopping experience.

September 2011 - February 2012


Conservation ast fall and winter, the Texas State Aquarium worked with a group of local high school students and their teacher on coastal conservation issues in preparation for the Third National Student Summit on the Oceans and Coasts. Four exceptional students from Moody High School in Corpus Christi were chosen because of their strong interest in environmental science, desire to work with scientists, positive attitudes, technological skills, and creativity. While researching topics for the Summit, the students met with Dr. Jennifer Pollack at the Harte Research Institute at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. The students became fascinated with the oyster shell recycling program which reclaims oyster shells from local restaurants and returns them to local oyster reefs to restore this important habitat. The project is a partnership with the University, local restaurants, the Port of Corpus Christi, and others. They spent the next few months researching oysters and developing an action plan. In February, the Texas delegation traveled to Washington, D.C. to participate in the National Student Summit. The agenda was packed with interaction with policy makers and celebrities. The opening event set the stage, with Jim Toomey’s creative and inspiring presentation using his Sherman’s Lagoon cartoon characters, and NOAA’s Policy Director’s overview of the Administration’s new ocean policy. Over the next two days, the students presented their efforts to raise awareness of the effects of changing


climate on the ocean and oyster populations in South Texas, and how each citizen can participate in conserving this resource. Then they worked with the other delegations to develop a proclamation, which speaks of their concerns and hopes for the future of our ocean and coasts, and their commitment to take action in their local communities to make a difference. On Capitol Hill day, the Texas delegation met with Representative Blake Farenthold’s staff and then visited with the Congressman outside the House Chamber. The entire Summit delegation presented their consensus proclamation to Congressman Sam Farr, Co-Chair of the House Ocean Caucus; Dr. Rebecca Blank, Deputy Secretary of Commerce; and Jean-Michel Cousteau representing the nongovernmental ocean community. The students

Kevin Dirksmeyer, Aaron Suarez, Vinay Dulip (Moody H.S. teacher), Sandy Cherniss (Texas State Aquarium), Luisandrea Diaz, and Amanda Salinas at the Third National Student Summit on the Oceans and Coasts.

received recognition from assistant and deputy secretaries from several agencies. Since returning home, the team has implemented their action plan by developing materials and participating in local fairs and festivals. The students present information and activities to highlight the ecological importance of oysters in Texas bays and promote the oyster reef restoration project. The team shares information with young children and their families and helps the children make an oyster craft. The students are continuing their efforts at more local events throughout 2011. The student blog is found at For more information about the oyster shell recycling program, go to Luisandrea Diaz shares information about oysters at Earth Day/Bay Day event at Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi.


September 2011 - February 2012

The National Student Summit is funded through Coastal America in partnership with the Coastal Ecosystem Learning Centers including the Texas State Aquarium and federal agency partners.

New Look For The Flower Garden Banks he National Marine Sanctuary Foundation and the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (FGBNMS) provided generous funding for the recent upgrades to our Flower Garden Banks exhibit. This is the first update to this gallery since the Aquarium opened in 1990, which was before the Flower Garden Banks was designated as a National Marine Sanctuary. New vivid graphics and backlit panels, in English and Spanish, tell the story of the Sanctuary— what makes it unique and why it’s important to the Gulf of Mexico. A new backdrop and two new touch screen interactives provide more in-depth information on the Sanctuary and its animals. Other improvements to the gallery were made “behind the scenes.” These include new eco-friendly LED lighting above the exhibit, a new catwalk to improve access to the exhibit by aquarists, and a new diver communications system for interactive public programs. In addition to funding, the FGBNMS staff also conducted training sessions for staff and volunteers. The sessions provided an overview and updates on the Sanctuary, and highlighted current and upcoming research projects. While the training was a great opportunity for participants, it will ultimately benefit our guests. An added bonus session geared toward Education staff was packed full of activities appropriate for upcoming programs and workshops. FGBNMS is one of your many federally-protected marine sanctuaries. What can you do to help? For starters, stop by the Flower Garden Banks gallery and enjoy a dive show. Learn about ways people help protect the breathtaking beauty on the reef. Visit flowergarden. on the web. And why not consider volunteering at the Aquarium, whether as an Exhibit Guide or Diver, to help other guests learn about and value the Sanctuary’s resources? You’ll be glad you did!


September 2011 - February 2012


TSA event calendar SeaSchoolers (ages 4 - 6)

Programs limited to 10 children. Reservations are required. Call (361) 653-2620. time: 9:30 - 10:30 a.m. place: Family Learning Center at TSA Fee: Member child, $10 Member parent, free Non-member child, $15 Non-member adult, TSA adult admission

September 3 Coral Critters What looks like a flower, can sting like a bee, has a cup-like skeleton, and lives in the sea? Coral, of course! SeaSchoolers will examine various corals, including the coral in the Flower Garden Banks exhibit.

october 8 Deep Sea Critters Ever wonder what lurks in the deep ocean? Join the fun as we transform into a deep sea creature and explore the depths that these creatures call home. Listen to a story, create a project, and take home materials to learn more about these fishes.

november 5 Marvelous Muck What’s so marvelous about marshes? Some consider them worthless and smelly, but many

animals call them “home, sweet home.” See how these resilient creatures live and even thrive in this sometimes-harsh environment. Included is story time, a marshy melody, hands-on activities including an art project, and a visit to see the salt marsh exhibits.

december 3 Fishmas It’s time for jolly spirits, good cheer,…and holiday crafting! Preschoolers will make their own critter crafts and ornaments to give the tree a hint of marine merriment.

January 21 It’s a Moray What is green and slimy and lives in the ocean? If your answer was an eel, you’re right! Come learn all about the secrete lives of eels and try to find our resident eels in the Flower Garden Banks.

February 4 Is a Jelly Fish really made of Jelly? SeaSchoolers will explore the mystical world of the jellyfish with their own tentacles. We’ll make a jellyfish costume, see the basic parts of a jellyfish, sample “jellyfish” of a tasty sort, and determine if a jellyfish really is made of jelly.

Sensational Sustainable Seafood

Looking for new ways to cook the ocean’s bounty? Join us on the 2nd Tuesday of every month for a cooking class designed to teach you how to select and prepare fresh, sustainable seafood. Some of the finest chefs in South Texas will be here to share their secrets. Adults only, please. [Schedule is subject to change without notice.] time: 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. place: TSA Lobby Fee: Members, $15 Non-members, $20 Reservations are required. Email your reservation to or call (361) 653-2654.

September 13 PF Chang’s Johnny D’s Chef John Dominguez

november 8 White Stripe Catering Chef Scott Stover

december 13 Tavern on the Bay Chef Christian Gomez

January 10 H-E-B PLUS! On Saratoga Chef Adrian Perez & Gordon Taylor Texas State Aquarium Water’s Edge Catering

Cancellation Policy


September 2011 - February 2012

September 10 october 8 november 12 december 10 January 14 February 11 time: 9:00-11:00 a.m. Do you love animals? Would you like to help the environment? Come join the great volunteers that help care for our animals, maintain the exhibits, and interact with and entertain our guests. Learn about the various opportunities during one of our orientation sessions. After a general overview, you will meet with an area supervisor and receive a short tour of their area. Call (361) 881-1256 to reserve a spot for orientation.

october 11

February 14

If you need to cancel your reservation, please call (361) 654-1450 at least 48 hours in advance. The Aquarium reserves the right to cancel a program if there are fewer than 5 registrations 48 hours before the program. If the Aquarium cancels a program, any paid registration fees may be fully refunded or applied to a future program.

Volunteer Orientation

Reminder! Due to limited space, reservations are required for all classes. Please call well in advance.

Adopt-A-Beach Clean Ups September 24 February 11 Get your gloves, hat and sunscreen ready for the Adopt-a-Beach clean-ups! The Texas State Aquarium invites everyone to come out and clean Corpus Christi Beach. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and we will clean the beach from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. We will provide trash bags and gloves. After the cleanup, have pizza and a giveaway provided by the Texas State Aquarium and the Texas General Land Office, as a token of appreciation for helping keep our beaches clear of debris. For more information, please call (361) 881-1259.

TSA even t calendar Important Dates october 3-7 Intersession Camp We’ll feature fun-filled activities focusing on Gulf of Mexico creatures. To register, please call (361) 881-1204 or email Registration deadline is September 23th. Ages: K5-6th grade time: 7:45 a.m.-5:30 p.m. place: SeaLab Fee: Member child, $200 Non-member child, $225

February 1-29 Land & Sea Partnership Throughout the month of February, Members of the Aquarium will have five attractions to visit! Your Texas State Aquarium membership card will gain you HALF OFF admission to: • Art Museum of South texas (361) 825-3500 • USS Lexington Museum on the Bay (361) 888-4873 • corpus christi Museum of Science & history (361) 826-4667

• South texas Botanical Gardens & nature center (361) 852-2100 Take advantage of some wonderful resources in the Coastal Bend and receive a 10% discount on a new membership at any of these facilities. For more information and hours

of operation, please call the facility you wish to visit. Please show your TSA membership card and a picture ID when visiting.

november 21-23 Mini-SeaCamp Join us for fun marine activities during Thanksgiving week! This adventure will include arts & crafts, fishing, and educational programs. To register, please call (361) 881-1204 or email Ages: K5-6th grade time: M/Tu 7:45 a.m.5:30 p.m.; Wed 7:45 a.m.12:00 p.m. place: SeaLab Fee: Member child, $130 Non-member child, $155

november 24 Aquarium closed for Thanksgiving Day

december 4 Dollar Day

december 25 Aquarium closed for Christmas Day

January 16 Dollar Day

Incarnate Word Academy took top honors at the 2011 Oceanography Challenge.

Oceanography Challenge 2011 ight middle school teams from around the area competed in the Aquarium’s 2011 E Oceanography Challenge tournament. Our deepest thanks to all of the competitors, coaches, and parents for the time they spent preparing for this tournament. Most importantly, we appreciate your interest in the coastal and ocean issues!

1st place - Incarnate Word Academy Coach: Colleen Duzich, Hank Carrillo, Jared Coco, Paul Flood, Ethan Elizondo, Katie Duncan 2nd place - Annapolis Christian Academy Coach: Jackie Hanks, Andrew Hanks, Sarah Miller, Hannah Avery, Thomas Hanks, Grayson Sigler 3rd place - Kaffie Middle School Coach: Mary Trevino, Katie Stubbins, Dalton Scorgie, Nick Mendleski, Micaela Lindeen, Stephanie Rodriguez Funding generously provided by the Coastal Bend Community Foundation. Competition rooms generously provided by Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

September 2011 - February 2012


development news

See more pictures on page 13!

H-E-B Splash Park here’s a whole lot of splashing going on at the Aquarium! Thanks to a generous $250,000 donation from H-E-B, the Aquarium celebrated the beginning of summer with the Grand Opening of the H-E-B Splash Park on Memorial Day weekend! As the first and only zero-depth water play park in the Coastal Bend, the H-E-B Splash Park features a 90-gallon dump bucket, water cannons, and spray jets to cool off children and adults alike! Adjacent to the Splash Park is Owen’s Paleo Park, named after Owen Hopkins, a well-loved, local geologist who imagined a place where children could unearth fossilized remains of prehistoric animals that roamed the Coastal Bend. Mr. Hopkins’s idea has been realized here at the Texas State Aquarium, where families, friends, and co-workers made generous contributions to underwrite the cost of building Owen’s Paleo Park as a tribute to his memory and the tremendous contributions he made to our community.


Tom Schmid, Aquarium President and CEO, and PepsiCo officials officially opened the Wetlands Walk in May 2011. The Aquarium was awarded a $50,000 grant from the PepsiCo Refresh Project – Do Good for the Gulf campaign, which partially funded the new exhibit. The new boardwalk allows Aquarium guests to explore a wetland environment and learn about the importance of marsh areas and their impact on the ecosystem.

Text TXAQUA to 20222 to Donate $10!

Give By Cell! ou can now easily donate to the Texas State Aquarium with your mobile phone*. It is easy and secure, and your donation will help us continue to educate the public on conservation, care for sick and injured animals, and lead the community in conservation programs and efforts. From sea turtles to sharks to all creatures in between, no matter how you give, you can feel good about helping the Aquarium save wildlife in wild places. Simply text the word TXAQUA to the number 20222. You will receive a confirmation text to which you must reply with the word YES…then your donation is complete!


*Messaging and Data Rates May Apply. See the Aquarium website for more details.

Tom Schmid, TSA President and CEO, accepts a generous donation from H-E-B officials at the grand opening.


September 2011 - February 2012


’s happening?

Ask The Curator

cu·ra·tor Pronunciation: Etymology: Latin, from curare, to take care of ccreditation from AZA means that the Texas State Aquarium maintains the highest standards in animal care. Jason Slade is responsible for a large collection of birds and mammals that appear daily at the Hawn Wild Flight Theater. Jason talks about the animals in his care.


Q: what types of animals do you care for?

A: A big variety! We care for the Wild Flight show animals, including raptors, rats, an African serval, a white-faced coati, and a southern tamandua. We also have animals in training that aren’t always seen by our guests.

Q: do you have a favorite animal?

A: Each animal comes with its own set of strengths and challenges…it would be very difficult to pick a favorite. “Koji,” our military macaw is fun to watch— he becomes very excited when he meets new people. “Zeppo,” our green-winged macaw has numerous mimicry vocals, so he can be very entertaining!

Q: what’s the hardest part of your job?

A: Probably one that is also the most enjoyable: problem solving relative to animal training. Animal behavior is shaped much like human behavior…basically, behavior that is reinforced will increase, and behavior that is not reinforced will decrease. However, animals don’t always make it obvious if we are reinforcing the right things. So it’s up to us to learn the animal’s signals, and come up with clever ways to reinforce desirable behaviors.

Q: what’s your favorite thing to do each day?

Jason Slade, Curator of Birds and Mammals

Q: what do the animals eat?

A: Their diets are as varied as the animals themselves. Our raptors eat rats, mice, quail, rabbit, and a meateating bird diet. Our shorebirds eat a loaf made from Mazuri® flamingo food, shrimp, silversides (a type of fish), and vitamins, as well as live fish and crabs. Our parrots eat parrot diet, fresh fruit and vegetables (broccoli is their favorite), nuts, and sunflower seeds, plus an occasional coconut or pepper for a treat. Our white-faced coati enjoys bananas and raisins, other fresh fruits and vegetables, omnivore pellets, and a diet called “carnivore care.”

A: Interacting with the animals in our ‘Kimani,’ an African serval care and helping others to do the same. The Texas State Aquarium provides a unique learning venue with one-on-one interactions with animals. I like to see guests react as they interact with the tamandua, or take a picture with “Cleo” our Swainson’s hawk and learn how this species migrates hundreds of miles every year.

Q: how do the birds know where to fly? is it trust or training or both?

A: It is trust in the sense that the animal can predict the type of interaction they will have with us, and that interaction will be positive. It is training in the sense that through approximations we have taught which behaviors will be reinforced and set a predictable pattern of interaction. Trainers refer to this concept as our “relationship” with the animal or our reinforcement history that has been built.

September 2011 - February 2012


what’s happening? Memories in the Making!

The best weddin g favor ever! Giv e your guests a D olphin Presenta tion on your special day.

Can you dig it? Discover the prehistoric past at Owen’s Paleo Park .

rsonal with one of Get up close and pe our animals.

Call us to book your special event. We look forward to hosting your wedding, birthday party, or overnight camp in! We will help you splash the night away in our new H-E-B Splash Park!

Dancing away the ni ght.

Call (361) 881-1307 for more information and pricing or email

Dining with the Dolphins takes on a new meaning at the Texas State Aquarium.


a. nder the se u s Z Z Z r u o Catch y

September 2011 - February 2012

Book you rh before 9/ oliday party with 30/11 an d we will us you your give fir (a $300 s st 50 guests free avings)! Call now reserve y to our date.


’s happening?

Wildlife Rehabilitation ur bird rehabilitation department is getting a makeover! Since our staff not only cares for birds and sea turtles, and assists with a marine mammal if needed, they are now known as “Wildlife Care Specialists.” The upgrades to the marine mammal pool at SeaLab are complete, provided by NOAA’s Prescott grant program which specifically assists marine mammal rehabilitation centers across the United States. We have a n e w sa l twa te r m a ke - u p Just a baby! system, filtration, pumps, a crane for lifting animals, and a new kitchen area. On the bird side we had a busy spring with owls. By the first part of July, we had treated 39 owls, including 21 great horned owls! Some were just babies and others were fledglings. People often confuse the two. If a young bird is fully feathered, it is a fledgling and can fly. However, they often do Growing up. not have much control over their flights and end up on the ground. If you see a bird on the ground, the best thing to do is to keep your pets inside and watch. Often the parents are around to keep an eye on the young bird. If the bird is still on the ground after 24 hours, then call us at (361) 881-1210 or bring it to our SeaLab facility during normal operating hours. Once the bird is removed from Almost there. the area and comes to us, it is a longer process to get it back out again. Overall, our wildlife care center is at capacity. Every outside “mew” (holding space) and flight cage is full of raptors, and still animals are being admitted. Lucky for most of Release! these babies and fledglings, they grow up, go though conditioning, learn to hunt, and are returned to the wild!


A Splashing Success! isitors to the Texas State Aquarium beat the heat this summer by cooling off in the new H-E-B Splash Park! Walking up the ramp, and even waiting in line, became a source of entertainment as folks watched children jump through fountains, shoot water cannons, run through the “car wash,” and most entertaining, wait for the gigantic dump bucket to spill over. Owen’s Paleo Park stayed busy with future paleontologists unearthing fossilized remains from animals that roamed the Coastal Bend 13,000 years ago. Parents wasted no time getting in the sand with their children, digging, brushing, and discovering the fossils together. The gift shop had a portable kiosk in the H-E-B Splash Park where guests could buy sunscreen, towels, or souvenirs, and the food court kept folks hydrated and cooled off with a selection of drinks and Dipping Dots®. Add that to some fun music and tables with umbrellas, and our guests had the recipe for a great afternoon at the Aquarium! As the weather changes this fall and winter, operating hours for the H-E-B Splash Park will change, so check the Aquarium’s website and Facebook page for updates.


September 2011 - February 2012


kids’ fun!

Dolphin Fun! Here at the Texas State Aquarium, we take very good care of our dolphins! To help us celebrate, join in some fun dolphin activities!



Weston’s e books from Check out thes cognized re oks have been Library! These bo as a great read! n e a Fish by Lora if a dolphin wer d ar ents Book Aw Wlodarski: Presid tt Medal Wiesner-Caldeco Flotsam by David d an , histles, clicks dolphin talk: w r fe by Wendy Pfef clapping Jaws

Family Fun Activities


hand print dol phin (Adapted fro m Hand-Print Anim al Art)! • Use your finge rs, hands, and fe et to make an ocea n of fishes. • You will need plain printing pape r, washable paint, markers and a paper plate. • Using a pape r plate to mix colo rs, cover your hand in your choice color of paint. Pl ace your painted hand on the pa per to make the body, use yo ur fingers and thumbs to add a dorsal fin, flip pers and a tale . After the pain t dries use marke rs to add details such as eyes, a blowhole, and a mouth. • Try making as many sea animal s as you can us ing your hands, feet, fingers, and toes.

Dolphin Bay Word Search 1


3 4 5

6 8






6 7

9 10 11 12 13 14

Connect The Dots

15 16 17 21 18 20


Across 1. Dolphins’ favorite snack 4. 3 marine mammal stars found at the Aquarium 5. Hole that dolphins bre ath through 6. Number of dolphins at Dolphin Bay Down 2. The oldest dolphin at the aquarium 3. The lightest colored do lphin 5. DJ is Shadow’s little ___ ________ Word Bank fish, brother, dolphins, Sh adow, three, blowhole, Kai


September 2011 - February 2012


The Texas State Aquarium is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). AZA is America’s leading accrediting organization for zoos and aquariums, and accredits only those institutions that have achieved rigorous, professional standards for animal care and management, veterinary care, wildlife conservation and research, education, safety, staffing, and more. Look for the AZA logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. With its more than 200 accredited members, AZA is building North America’s largest wildlife conservation movement and is your link to helping animals in their native habitats. For more information, visit

s happening?

A capacity crowd enjoyed the annual 4th of July Members’ Picnic at the Texas State Aquarium, with front row seats for the fireworks display.

The Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums is an international association representing marine life parks, aquariums, zoos, research facilities, and professional organizations dedicated to the highest standards of care for marine mammals and to their conservation in the wild through public education, scientific study, and wildlife presentations.

Over 900 children enjoyed fish, friends, and fun at SeaCamp 2011! Registration for SeaCamp 2012 will begin in February—watch our website for details.

Proud Partners with

Teen Volunteers Do Their Part he Texas State Aquarium’s T Aquateen volunteers are out-going, hard-working

The Texas State Aquarium was designated as a Coastal America Coastal Ecosystem Learning Center in 1998. Coastal America combines the resources of federal agencies with marine educational centers. The mutual partnership extends to involving communities in protection, preservation, and restoration projects throughout the Nation.

Alex Harrell brings awareness about the number of plastic bags we use and the problems they cause at the Aquarium’s 4th of July party.

teens who are interested in learning more about the Aquarium and the Gulf of Mexico. Applications are accepted once a year in the spring for a limited number of spots. This summer, over 40 teens gave of their time and talents in various areas of the Aquarium. Every Friday, the AquaTeens picked up trash on Corpus Christi Beach and transported materials from TSA’s recycling stations to the pick up containers.

September 2011 - February 2012


Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage

Texas State Aquarium 2710 N. Shoreline Corpus Christi, Texas 78402-1097 (361) 881-1200

PAID Permit No. 1235 Corpus Christi, TX

The Star is published by the Texas State Aquarium for supporters and Members of the Texas State Aquarium. © 2011 by Texas State Aquarium Association, a not-for-profit organization.

Hours of Operation Winter Hours: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday - Sunday (begins September 5)

Summer Hours: 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Monday - Sunday (begins March 1)

Our Mission Connecting people with nature and inspiring conservation of the Gulf of Mexico. Our Vision To be a nationally-recognized Aquarium leader in creating entertaining, educationally-enriching programming; conducting wildlife rehabilitation; and supporting conservation.

How To Contact Us: Accounting (361) 881-1286 Admissions (361) 881-1230 Donations & Development (361) 881-1324 Education & SeaCamp (361) 881-1204 Executive Offices (361) 881-1254 Food Court (361) 881-1205 General Information (361) 881-1200 Gift Shop (361) 881-1232 Group Reservations & Rentals (361) 881-1307 Guide Office (361) 881-1252 Injured Animal (361) 881-1210 Membership (361) 881-1341 Volunteers (361) 881-1256

Supporting the President’s Council helps your Aquarium grow! By joining now your support will assist in: • Providing 60,000 students each year with educational programs about animals and their habitats; • Attending to the needs of hundreds of sick and injured shorebirds, raptors, sea turtles and stranded dolphins; • Supporting exhibit expansions and capital improvements, and addressing critical needs as they arise; • Caring for thousands of animals that call the Aquarium home; and • Sharing the wonders of the Gulf of Mexico with 500,000 guests each year and connecting people to nature. As a • • • •

President’s Council member, you will enjoy the following benefits! Membership and Guest Passes Invitations to exclusive Aquarium receptions Discount of 10% on one facility rental at the Aquarium Recognition on the Annual Donor Wall under the President’s Council Section • Recognition in the Annual Report • A subscription to the Star Magazine

Please call or email the Development Office for more information at (361) 881-1324 or

a r u i q a e t a t www.texass

Texas State Aquarium Magazine  

The official magazine of the Texas State Aquarium in beautiful Corpus Christi, Texas!

Texas State Aquarium Magazine  

The official magazine of the Texas State Aquarium in beautiful Corpus Christi, Texas!