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Texas State Aquarium to award $150,000 to wildlife conservation and research projects in 2018

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Corpus Christi – The Texas State Aquarium’s Wildlife Care, Conservation, and Research Fund (WCCR) announced it will distribute $150,000 to researchers and scientists that are working to save species from extinction.

Including this year’s contribution, the Aquarium has dedicated over $500,000 to support conservation and research since the beginning of the program in 2013.

The Wildlife Care Conservation and Research Fund was launched in fulfillment of the Aquarium’s mission to support wildlife conservation. Projects funded through WCCR all focus on species in the Aquarium’s living collection or the habitats that support these species. Through the WCCR, the Aquarium has provided much-needed help a number of researchers and conservationists who aim to save important species, primarily from the Gulf of Mexico and Western Caribbean Sea. WCCR funds are typically distributed among a variety of different projects to maximize and diversify their impact.

“Directly supporting wildlife conservation has become the new rallying cry for modern zoological facilities,” said Tom Schmid, President & CEO of the Texas State Aquarium. “We now realize it is simply not enough to just educate our guests about the plight of many of these species. We need to support the vital work that scientists are doing to save animals in the wild.”

Recent projects have included working to eliminate invasive lionfish in the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, real-time web-based tracking of sharks, studying the movement of spotted sea trout with hydrophones, monitoring the use of freshwater ponds by wintering whooping cranes, studying the genetic composition of Kemp’s ridley sea turtles, and identifying nesting habitats for the Texas diamondback terrapin. The Aquarium has also supported important wildlife conservation projects through WCCR, including donating $75,000 to date towards VaquitaCPR, an international effort to save the critically-endangered vaquita porpoise.

Scientists whose work is partially funded by WCCR will frequently share their work with Aquarium guests by visiting the Aquarium in-person or through live online video calls.

Applications for the program are expected to open sometime this month, at which time the Aquarium will make another announcement to media, on its website and social media channels. Another announcement will be made later in the year when fund recipients have been determined.

The Texas State Aquarium (TSA)

The Official Aquarium of the State of Texas, is a private, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) institution that is fully accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Its mission is to engage people with animals, inspire appreciation for our seas and support wildlife conservation.  TSA provides high-quality science education about marine conservation and the habitats and species of the Gulf of Mexico to families primarily in Texas. Recently, it was named the number one cultural attraction in South Texas and one of the Top 20 Aquariums in the nation by TravelChannel.com. Learn more at texasstateaquarium.org.

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