The North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher recently hosted the world famous Weeki Wachee mermaids for two fun-filled weekends in March. Two sets of mermaids traveled from Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, Florida to meet and greet with visitors, swim with our resident fish and sea turtle, Shelldon, and share their love of aquatic environments.
In folklore, mermaids were often associated with bad luck, thought to have sunk ships and lured sailors into the water. However, in more modern times and with the help of Disney’s The Little Mermaid, these mythological creatures have won the hearts and minds of many of us, symbolizing beauty and love.
Throughout the event days, visitors were certainly inspired by these underwater beauties but also engaged in educational programming focused on the conservation and protection of the ocean and its inhabitants. Guests who participated in the “Breakfast with the Mermaids” program learned about some mermaid friends, specifically sea turtles, and how both mermaids and sea turtles can be helped by keeping plastics out of the ocean.
Aquarium Education staff also created a Mermaid’s Purse program where guests could delve into a bag filled with natural and non-natural trinkets a mermaid would find around her home. In this program, guests were challenged to think about where those non-natural items like plastic water bottles and straws come from. Our actions can and do impact the ocean no matter we where we live. Making easy changes like switching from single-use plastic items to reusable items and reducing the amount we use in the first place will help keep our aquatic environments healthy.
Feel free to comment and share if you were able to visit during our Mermaid event or if you have a great idea for skipping single-use plastics in your own life.
The hatchlings are growing every day and the measurements for turtle A are 821 grams and 17.4 cm and turtle B is 1206 grams and 19.9 cm. To see how you can use these measurements in your classroom, click here.