Inspiring appreciation and conservation of North Carolina's aquatic environments.
The North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island is located on the Outer Banks and educates visitors on the state's many ecosystems and the animals inhabiting them. This journey begins with Seven Rivers and ends at the Graveyard of the Atlantic. This 285,000-gallon exhibit houses the largest group of sharks in the state and features a replica of the USS Monitor, a Civil War ironclad which sank off the coast of Cape Hatteras in late December 1862. Alligators, turtles, fish, and the ever-popular North American river otters are featured in Wild Wetlands.
The Sea Turtle Assistance and Rehabilitation (STAR) Center is a 3,000 square-foot facility allowing staff and volunteers to maintain an excellent level of care for sick and ailing sea turtles. Visitors have the opportunity to see the turtle patients through viewing windows on the holding tanks and hear their recovery stories from the people who help them every day. When they are fully rehabilitated, the sea turtles are released back into the wild, some with satellite transmitters to track their movements. After learning about sea turtles at the Center, diagnose and care for a replica of an injured sea turtle in the interactive and hands-on exhibit Sea Turtle Rescue.
Touch a stingray, a white-spotted bamboo shark, or a sea star in Sea Senses. Free programs are offered every day, and, for an additional fee, guests can see and learn even more about our animals during a behind-the-scenes tour or participate in a camp or other special activity. Stroll along the educational soundside pier, a popular location for wedding ceremonies. The Aquarium is equipped to host receptions and other special events, even underwater weddings. Open-water certified divers can participate in our Aquarium Shark Dive program and get up-close and personal with our sharks in the Graveyard of the Atlantic exhibit.