Leading the way to connect people with water, wildlife and wild places.
Wildlife surrounds you at the South Carolina Aquarium. With thousands of animals, dozens of exhibits and stunning waterfront views, you can connect with the natural world your way. Your Aquarium experience allows us to care for sick and injured sea turtles, provide education programming for students, and continue our critical conservation work within our walls and beyond.
Our mission is to inspire conservation of the natural world by exhibiting and caring for animals, by excelling in education and research and by providing an exceptional visitor experience. The South Carolina Aquarium is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. We rely on the support of our paying guests, members, foundations and the generosity of our donors.
Downtown Charleston, SC
Consistently topping lists of best places to visit, top cities to live in and most amazing vacations, Charleston, South Carolina serves as the Aquarium’s… well, habitat! The Aquarium sits on the waterfont of the Charleston Harbor, boasting unparalleled views of the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge and USS Yorktown. Other cultural attractions, like the International African American Museum and Fort Sumter Tours, are within walking distance, filling this hub of the city with history and education. Whether you’re a local of the Holy City, driving in from the Upstate or even visiting from far out of town, there’s plenty to see and do around the Aquarium!
The South Carolina Aquarium is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). In order to be accredited, institutions must exhibit the highest standards of animal welfare, care and management. This means the Aquarium is among the best in the nation when it comes to our animals’ living environments, health and nutrition. To maintain accreditation, we must pass an assessment every five years.
Our Commitment to Inclusion
The South Carolina Aquarium is committed to the continued work of inclusion, accessibility, diversity, equity, justice and belonging. Our culture is built on developing a team of unique voices from diverse backgrounds, working collaboratively to fulfill our mission of inspiring conservation of the natural world. Members of our team commit to actively practicing and promoting these principles daily.
National Medal for Museum and Library Service
The South Carolina Aquarium was announced as one of ten recipients of the 2019 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries that make significant and exceptional contributions to their communities. The Aquarium was recognized “not for having a massive living collection of exotic species from around the world, but for keeping its collection’s focus local.” Housing thousands of species native to South Carolina, the Aquarium has been awarded for educating the public about the biodiversity of our regional aquatic ecosystems, as well as its efforts in South Carolina’s science education curriculum and dedication to tackling tough environmental issues. We are proud to be a conservation education leader in the community. Thank you for being an integral part of our success!