About Us

Leading the way to connect people with water, wildlife and wild places.

Sea the difference at the South Carolina Aquarium! From our over 5,000 animals to our award-winning education team, from the Sea Turtle Care Center™ to our conservation programs protecting local species, you’ll be struck with awe and inspiration as you journey through all our exhibits, representing the mountains to the sea of South Carolina.

sea the difference logo
two people stand in front of the Carolina Seas exhibit looking at the fish and wildlife inside the tank

Our Mission

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.

an exterior shot of the South Carolina Aquarium building, looking at at the front entrance

Charleston, SC

The Aquarium is located in beautiful and historic downtown Charleston, South Carolina. Our waterfront location on the Charleston Harbor enhances the guest experience with sweeping views of the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge, the USS Yorktown and much more. Take a break on one of our open-air decks during your visit to spot wild dolphins and birds throughout the Harbor.

veterinarian Dr. Shane Boylan and four members of the Sea Turtle Care Center team tend to a sea turtle patient during an exam within Zucker Family Sea Turtle Recovery

AZA Accreditation

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 at least once a year.

a South Carolina Aquarium employee holds Pippen the barn owl and talks to a young girl

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!

Visit the Aquarium today!