Arizona Game & Fish Department
The Arizona Game & Fish Department’s mission is to conserve Arizona’s diverse wildlife resources and manage for safe, compatible outdoor recreation opportunities for current and future generations.
OdySea Aquarium is proud to partner with the Arizona Game & Fish Department to bring awareness to these native trout species and help to ensure their survival and their place in our local ecosystem.
Apache Trout Conservation
OdySea Aquarium is proud to have partnered with SANCCOB, a registered non-profit organization (NPO 003-134) whose primary objective is to reverse the decline of seabird populations through the rescue, rehabilitation and release of ill, injured, abandoned and oiled seabirds – especially endangered species like the African penguin.
The organization works closely with colony managers to identify birds in need of care in the wild and bring them to one of its two centers in South Africa: Cape Town (Western Cape) and Cape St. Francis (Eastern Cape).
In a normal year where no oil spills occur, SANCCOB treats up to 2,500 seabirds, of which approximately 1,500 are African penguins. The remainder include various cormorants species (including the endangered Bank cormorant and Cape cormorant); various species of terns; pelagic birds such as albatrosses, gannets and petrels; oystercatchers, gulls, pelicans and other coastal birds found in the region. On average, 24 different seabird species are rehabilitated every year.
SANCCOB is an internationally recognized leader in oiled wildlife response, rehabilitation and chick-rearing; contributes to research which benefits seabirds; trains people to care for the birds and educates the public to develop behavioral patterns which benefit marine life and the environment.
SANCCOBB is registered with the South African Veterinary Council; a member of PAZAAB, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN); is endorsed by the Department of Environmental Affairs, World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, European Association of Zoos and Aquariums and American Association of Zoos and Aquariums; and has many working partnerships globally.
AFRICAN BLACK-FOOTED PENGUIN CONSERVATION
Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch®
We are proud partners of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch® program, which empowers consumers and businesses to make choices for a healthy ocean, helping to support diverse marine ecosystems for the future. Seafood Watch® raises sustainable seafood awareness through its consumer guides, website, app for mobile devices, and partnerships with businesses, culinary leaders and conservation organizations across North America and beyond.
Meet our sea turtles
Sea turtles have inhabited Earth for more than 150 million years. But today, they are endangered due to loss of habitat and pollution. At OdySea Aquarium, we recognize these threats to sea turtles and are doing our part to help ensure their survival. Many of OdySea Aquarium’s sea turtles, once unable to thrive in their environments, were rescued and now call OdySea their home.
Age: 20 years old
Weight: 135 lbs
Charlie is our largest female rescue turtle. She’s easily identified, as she has two circular weights attached to the back of her carapace. Like Greta and Valor, Charlie also has a condition called “bubble butt”, which means she has air trapped inside her shell. Charlie was struck by a boat, which caused trauma to her spinal chord and caused her back flippers to become paralyzed. Thankfully, she was found nursed back to health by a Florida rescue facility. It was here that her weights were attached and she re-learned how to dive and swim like a normal turtle. We believe Charlie is an incredible ambassador for her species, and count ourselves lucky to have her as part of the OdySea Aquarium family.
Age: 3-4 years old
Weight: 40 lbs
Valor was found injured off the coast of North Carolina. It’s believed he was struck by a boat, which left him with air trapped underneath his carapace – a condition is commonly referred to as “bubble butt”. This causes him to have buoyancy problems, and Valor is unable to dive or stay underwater as easily as other turtles. His condition makes him unable to be released back into the wild, as he would likely not survive. Thankfully, Valor has found his way to OdySea Aquarium, his forever home, where our Animal Care Team has begun adding custom weights to his shell to allow him to live as normal a life as possible.
Age: 8-10 years old
Weight: 90 lbs
Boudreaux was rescued off the coast of Texas. He had become badly tangled in fishing line which required that two of his flippers be removed. In spite of his injuries, Boudreaux makes his way around his new home at OdySea quite well! With his mighty strength and spirit, Boudreaux has definitely won the hearts of both OdySea Aquarium team members and visitors.
Age: 8-10 years old
Weight: 20 lbs
Erika was attacked by a predator off the coast of Texas as a new hatchling. The attack left her without a front flipper, and with the tips of her back flippers partially missing. Because of her injuries Erika would not thrive in the wild, and was deemed non-releasable by the U.S. government. Despite all she’s been through, Erika has shown tremendous strength and willingness to adapt. Since joining us here at OdySea Aquarium she’s delighted everyone who’s met her, and has made fast friends with her exhibit mates.
Age: 8-10 years old
Weight: 70 lbs
Greta was found stranded off the coast of Florida. She was lethargic and thin, with an injury that caused air to become trapped in her carapace. Greta’s injury is commonly known as “bubble butt”, and means that the air trapped in her shell gives her buoyancy issues. She has to work twice as hard as normal sea turtles if she wants to dive underwater. Left in the wild, Greta would not survive. Thankfully, she has found her forever home here at OdySea Aquarium where we can provide round-the-clock care and attention to her special needs.
OdySea Aquarium In The Community
2017 Reef Alliance Award Winner
Reef Alliance is a program sponsored by Sub Sea Systems; the program focuses on conservation, education and proactive efforts within the community. Of the 50+ Sea TREKoperators and Reef Alliance members worldwide, Sub Sea Systems recognizes OdySea Aquarium in Scottsdale, Arizona as the recipient of the 2017 Reef Alliance Award. Throughout the past year, OdySea has organized multiple cleanup events, educational presentations at local schools, a conservation expo, commissioned art sculptures out of reclaimed products, and even sourced unique, sustainable products for its onsite gift shop. Not to mention, the thousands of annual aquarium visitors and Sea TREK participants who are educated about marine life and conservation through the entertaining exhibits and hands-on, interactive encounters.
Reef Alliance is an avid supporter of Ocean Conservancy and its International Coastal Cleanup event. Members are encouraged to participate in at least one cleanup event each year. The OdySea team went above and beyond, hosting and participating in multiple cleanup events throughout the year, such as the Lake Pleasant Cleanup, Salt River Cleanup and a local Adopt-A-Road cleanup project. Recovered trash, debris and recyclables were properly disposed of, helping to keep it out of our waterways and oceans!
OdySea contributed to a number of educational presentations and programs involving local grade schools and universities. Team members participated in a STEM (science, technology, engineering & math) Pro Live! broadcast, where OdySea professionals answered live questions from students. Conservation presentations were given at the University of Arizona and Paradise Valley High School, and OdySea staff participated in Career Day at Morris K Udall Middle School.
More recently, OdySea hosted its first annual Conservation Expo, featuring local rescue organizations and sustainability groups. The free expo offered a fun day of learning and exploring for attendees. OdySea also debuted an exceptionally unique art sculpture designed by Benjamin and Casey Brose. The 15-foot hammerhead shark was created out of recycled plastic bottles. More than 20 volunteers helped create the impressive sculpture– from removing labels, rinsing and drying 2,500 plastic water bottles, to welding a frame and covering it with up-cycled chicken wire, to cutting, drilling and attaching each bottle in the shape of the hydrodynamic shark body. The sculpture was then painted shimmery silver, giving it a beautiful shine under the light as if it were swimming under the surface of the ocean. The goal of the sculpture is to spread awareness and reduce the amount of plastic that goes into our oceans. The “Debris in the Desert” team will continue to create more sculptures to promote the cause.
OdySea certainly practices what they preach and implements conservation efforts throughout their facility. As an example, the OdySea gift shop prides itself on sustainably sourced retail items, such as toys made from recycled milk jugs, bags made from recycled fish nets, and art pieces made from recycled materials.
Sub Sea Systems is proud to have OdySea as a Reef Alliance member and ambassador of conservation. Congratulations and thank you to the OdySea team for their hard work and extensive efforts.
Black Friday Salt River Clean Up
On November 24th, 2017, OdySea Aquarium employees helped clean up The Salt River. From the waterways to the surrounding areas our team picked up trash and recyclables. Beautifying the river and helping the wildlife.
MARICOPA COUNTY PARKS & REC SHORELINE CLEAN-UP AT LAKE PLEASANT
On September 30th, 2017, OdySea Aquarium employees joined Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department in cleaning up Lake Pleasant. From the top of the hills to the bottom of the lake, this team made sure no trash got left behind.
SRPMIC Earth Day 2017
March for Science
OdySea Aquarium, along with many institutions in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, participated in the nationwide March for Science on Earth Day. In a time when "belief" in science seems to be waning, AZA-accredited facilities and their supporters are educating millions of visitors on a variety of issues including climate change, the growing problem of plastics pollution, and why conservation of species and habitats is crucial to all of our futures. We had an amazing time raising our voices in solidarity with scientists and science enthusiasts across the nation and look forward to next year's event.
World Turtle Day with the Phoenix Zoo
Every year hundreds of unwanted pet turtles are released into the “moat” in front of The Phoenix Zoo. OdySea Aquarium was invited to work with the Phoenix Zoo and the Arizona Game & Fish Department to help reduce the turtles’ chances of traveling to nearby canals and the Salt River where they could spread disease, become injured, or prey on native turtles and other native wildlife. Our team members assisted in the measuring, weighing, and identifying of turtles found in the moat. The Turtle & Tortoise Preservation Group graciously took in all female non-native turtles, while male non-native turtles were returned to the pond.