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North Carolina Aquariums to reopen to visitors September 14

Following North Carolina’s move into Safer at Home Phase 2.5, the North Carolina Aquariums at Roanoke Island, Fort Fisher and Pine Knoll Shores have announced they will welcome guests back beginning Monday, Sept. 14. A Friday morning press release states that some new procedures will be in place to help ensure the safety of guests and staff.

“We can’t wait to be able to do what we do best, which is share the truly astounding animals and habitats we care for,” said Maylon White, North Carolina Aquariums director. “The public is a key component in our mission of education and inspiration, and we’ll be so happy to have them back.”

All three aquariums will once again be open for visitation, with some adjustments in order to provide the safest possible environment for guests, staff and animals, stated the release.

Aquarium admission will be available online only at ncaquariums.com and guests will need to reserve their tickets for specific arrival times. “This will allow the aquariums to best provide a safe and enjoyable visit by reducing overall building capacity,” the release continued. “Also, in accordance with Executive Order 163, both guests and employees will need to wear face coverings and maintain social distancing.”

Although Governor Roy Cooper’s Phase 2.5 announcement allowed for facilities such as museums, playgrounds and gyms to reopen at limited capacity after Sept. 4, the aquariums are using a week to perform tasks like bringing back staff and preparing the grounds prior to the Sept. 14 opening.

“There is a lot of work we need to do to make sure everything runs smoothly after being closed to the public for this long,” White said. “We want the experience to be a great one.”

Though the North Carolina Aquariums closed to the public on March 17 as part of the statewide effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19, staff members have continued to provide for the health and well-being of animals in its care. To learn more about the North Carolina Aquariums and how they will be welcoming back visitors, go to ncaquariums.com.

The North Carolina Aquariums and Jennette’s Pier are accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and are dedicated to the mission of “Inspiring appreciation and conservation of our aquatic environments.”

The North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island is located in Manteo at 374 Airport Rd., off U.S. 64. For more information, visit ncaquariums.com/roanoke-island or call 252-475-2300.

Jennette’s Pier, which is currently open, is located at 7223 S. Virginia Dare Trail in Nags Head. For more information, visit ncaquariums.com/jennettes-pier or call 252-255-1501.

The North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher is just south of Wilmington at 900 Loggerhead Rd. in Kure Beach. For more information, visit ncaquariums.com/fort-fisher or call 910-772-0500.

The North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores is five miles west of Atlantic Beach at 1 Roosevelt Blvd. in Pine Knoll Shores. For more information, visit ncaquariums.com/pine-knoll-shores or call 252-247-4003.

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