Oklahoma Aquarium Sea Turtle Exhibit Now Open

NEWEST EXHIBIT: Konnie Boulter, program director for The Oxley Foundation, cuts the ribbon during the opening of the Sea Turtle Island exhibit as contributing foundations and community and city leaders look on.

GTR Newspapers Photo

The Oklahoma Aquarium’s long anticipated Sea Turtle Island, presented by The Oxley Foundation, is approaching completion. After a private ribbon-cutting ceremony and donor event, the new immersive and educational exhibit opened to the public on March 5.

The exhibit features two 300-pound loggerhead sea turtles, reef sharks and tropical fish in a 56,000-gallon tank. Visitors will be able to view the turtles from three different viewing levels and a unique underwater observation station while walking up the boardwalk alongside an underwater world.

“The innovation and dedication of our employees and volunteers has reached a new level on this exhibit,” said /Executive Director Teri Bowers. “They are not only creating a beautiful permanent home for our turtles that have been living here behind- the-scenes, they are also building an immersive, educational experience that will literally make our guests feel like they’ve traveled to a tropical island.”

Loggerheads are one of seven species of sea turtles in the world. Loggerheads can live approximately 50 years and weigh more than 300 pounds. Their diet includes jellyfish, conchs, crabs and some species of fish. Sea Turtle Island will highlight the endangered status of sea turtles and what can be done to protect the species, even from inland Oklahoma.

“We are all connected by water no matter where we live, from our lakes and streams and rivers to the ocean,” said Bowers. Numerous private donors and Tulsa County’s Vision 2025 funding support Sea Turtle Island. Donors include The Oxley Foundation, American Electric Power Foundation, Founders of Doctors’ Hospital Foundation, Inc., Hardesty Family Foundation, Inc., Herman Kaiser Foundation, and Ruth K. Nelson.

“The citizens of Jenks have always been thankful for the Oklahoma Aquarium, but with this addition, we now have a world-class facility right on our doorstep,” said Jenks Mayor Kelly Dunkerley.

“Sea Turtle Island, with its educational opportunities, is great for the schools in our community, a wonderful adventure for families to experience together, and a catalyst for river front development.”

Updated 05-16-2017

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