Conservation Initiatives

Breaking Down Plastic: South Carolina Aquarium Plastic Pollution Summit

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.

On March 30, 2017 the Aquarium hosted Breaking Down Plastic, an engaging, single-day event 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.

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.

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.


See firsthand how rising seas may impact our homes, workplaces and roads through our SeaRise tool found at SeaRise immediately calculates the approximate number of people, homes, businesses, and miles of roadway impacted in your area. For example, a 2-foot increase in sea level would impact approximately 12,270 people, 363 structures and more than 5 miles of roadway in the Charleston area.

Good Catch

Formerly known as the Sustainable Seafood Initiative, Good Catch generates awareness and leads communities in support of healthy, local fisheries and consumption of responsibly harvested seafood.

Our Good Catch partners have committed to offer a higher percentage of local, sustainable seafood whenever possible.  Learn more.

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.


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