ATLANTA (September 20, 2015) - Five Southern sea otters call Georgia Aquarium home, three of which were rescued as stranded pups and came to Atlanta in 2010. Georgia Aquarium is celebrating sea otters with two special events, starting with Sea Otter Awareness Week. Sept. 20-26. Special activities will be held throughout the week in the Aquarium’s atrium and Georgia-Pacific Cold Water Quest gallery. Guests will learn more about Georgia Aquarium's Southern sea otters with "You Otter Know" facts and about how they can help with the conservation of sea otters. Additional activities will be held on Saturday, Sept. 26, from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., including sea otter artifacts at the Education Station, “Spot an Otter,” “Under-Otter” Foraging, and sea otter “Daily Diet games. Sea Otter Awareness Week is a nationally recognized week, but zoos and aquariums spend 365 days a year working to educate guests and inspire them to aid in conservation. All activities are included with Georgia Aquarium general admission or membership.

Georgia Aquarium’s premier fundraising event, Aqua Vino, will be held Thursday, Oct. 8, with this year’s proceeds benefitting the Aquarium’s research and conservation efforts involving the Southern sea otter. The tenth annual Aqua Vino will be hosted by celebrity foodie, Alton Brown, and feature more than 200 exotic wines from around the globe, hors d'oeuvres from over 30 of Atlanta’s most popular restaurants, live music, access to the Aquarium’s five galleries, a sneak peek behind-the-scenes of Georgia Aquarium’s world-class facilities, silent and live auctions and a keepsake Aqua Vino wine glass. VIP and Grand Tasting tickets are available to purchase at www.georgiaaquarium.org/aquavino.

Sea otters are currently listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List, with Southern sea otters listed as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act and depleted under the U.S. Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1977. Potential threats to the Southern sea otter include entanglement in fishing nets, oil spills and predation by the great white shark. Southern sea otters are the second smallest of all marine mammals, yet play a big part in helping to maintain the balance of kelp ecosystems in the wild, which helps to reduce the level of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere in the process. Georgia Aquarium's Southern sea otters serve as ambassadors for their wild counter parts and are integral in inspiring the next generation to take care of our planet. 

To further support Georgia Aquarium’s conservation programs, join the Caring Together Club, a special community of animal advocates who understand and support the work that Georgia Aquarium and the zoological community are doing for animals everywhere, or contribute to Georgia Aquarium's research and conservation efforts here. To learn more about Southern sea otters, visit Georgia Aquarium’s Animal Guide

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ABOUT GEORGIA AQUARIUM

Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that contains more than 10 million gallons of water and has the largest collection of aquatic animals in North America. Georgia Aquarium’s mission is to be a scientific institution that entertains and educates, features exhibits and programs of the highest standards, and offers engaging and exciting guest experiences that promote the conservation of aquatic biodiversity throughout the world. Georgia Aquarium is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums. For additional information, visit www.georgiaaquarium.org.