What is more fun than going on a behind the scenes tour of an aquarium? Teaming up with another CFACT chapter to explore the aquarium! The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and University of Minnesota-Duluth CFACT chapters did exactly that.
In Minnesota Lake Superior is one of the state’s most valued natural treasures. Beyond being one of the most scenic destinations in the state, it is also home to a diverse underwater eco-system. Visiting the aquarium gave the collegians an opportunity to learn more about the unique ecology of both Lake Superior and the rest of the Great Lakes.
But the collegians didn’t stop there, they had the opportunity to look behind the curtain and discover what it takes run a place like the Great Lakes Aquarium. The collegians saw every aspect of the workings of the aquarium from the water purification system (that recycles thousands of gallons of water every hour) to the kitchens used to prepare the meals for hundreds of fish and animals.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about the aquarium was the role innovation plays in keeping the aquarium going. The aquarium is always trying to be a good steward of their resources. That means they are always looking for ways to recycle old equipment and searching for the most cost effective way to feed their animals.
It was a lot to take in, and many collegians were impressed by the huge amount of work it takes to keep the aquarium running. “I had no idea how much goes on behind the scenes,” said John, “it is crazy how much effort goes into keeping these fish alive.” Without these efforts the Great Lakes Aquarium wouldn’t be able to continue its efforts to educate people about the great lakes. At the end of the day both CFACT chapters enjoyed getting to know each other and both left the aquarium with a new respect for the effort it takes to keep places like the Great Lakes Aquarium running.