My walk to the aquarium from the parking garage is riddled with remorse…as I realize…wearing skinny jeans in 100% humidity was not the best decision, and I hope to make it into air conditioning before I break a sweat.
As it turns out, I have arrived early…and will have to embrace the heat and appreciate any small breeze that offers some relief.
As soon as my body has adjusted to Charleston’s steamy demeanor, I get a text saying I can get my visitor’s badge and come inside.
I am greeted by my external supervisor, beaming from ear to ear, as I believe she always is. We walk inside and the A/C sends a message to my jeans, “You’re safe in here, dude.”
The aquarium is buzzing with parents, children, teens, young adults and volunteers excited to “Ooooo” and “Ahhhh” at all the exhibits and snap some pictures for their Instagram accounts. #southcarolinaaquarium
I am then introduced to various staff, and learn about all the wonderful things the aquarium does to benefit sea life and the general populace. I walk through the sea turtle hospital and see all the rescues acclimating to their tanks. Healing from injury. There are some turtles lapping their tanks with a lax attitude, and some that sit still, and seem anxious.
We walk through the food prep area where a volunteer has begun prepping meals for all the aquarium’s inhabitants, and catch a scent of the ocean as the door closes.
In a small room in the basement my external supervisor gives a presentation on their Good Catch program, and we discuss all the complexities of fishing and what we can do to hold restaurants accountable – ranging from asking your server about where they get their fish, to environmental policy change and fish reproduction rates.
After, we visit one of the Good Catch restaurant partners and eat lunch. Our server rattles off several facts about how they choose their fish and change the menu frequently to ensure they keep up with what is in season. It is exciting to see the program’s efforts in action and see how excited their partners are to advocate for the cause.
Safe weekends, everyone.