The UGA Aquarium on Skidaway Island near Savannah is launching a series of hands-on summer programs in June and July that are designed to educate visitors about Georgia’s coastal environments.
Behind-the-scenes tours, toddler touch tanks, family field trips and turtle Tuesdays are among the recurring programs scheduled to place at the facility on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
“By offering these programs, we hope to get visitors to explore beyond downtown Savannah and learn about everything the Georgia coast has to offer,” says Kayla Clark, public programs coordinator at Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant. “Our marine educators will lead guided explorations and interactive activities that allow visitors to experience the coast in a new way.”
Activities offered as part of the programs include crabbing on the dock behind the aquarium, assisting with seahorse feedings, and hiking through the maritime forest and salt marsh along the banks of the Skidaway River.
The UGA Aquarium, part of UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant, has 16 exhibit tanks that house a variety of coastal species, all of which are found on the Georgia coast. Display animals include a loggerhead sea turtle, stingrays, diamondback terrapins and more. Aquarium visitors can also enjoy the facility’s 1.5-mile nature trail, observation platforms and shaded picnic areas.
The summer schedule and brief descriptions of each program is provided below. Details for all Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant events are available at gacoast.uga.edu/events
Summer Programs at the UGA Aquarium
Toddler Touch Tanks: Every Tuesday in June
9:30 – 10:30 a.m.
Toddler touch tanks is designed especially for 3- to 5-year-old guests and includes opportunities to interact with whelks, horseshoe cabs, spider crabs and other animals in the aquarium’s touch tanks. A mix of games, art, stories and other hands-on activities are also included.
Turtle Tuesdays: Every Tuesday in July
9:30 – 10:30 a.m.
Each week, visitors will meet one of the aquarium’s ambassador turtles. Learn about diamondback terrapins, loggerhead sea turtles, gopher tortoises and more!
Aquarium Tours: Every Thursday in June and July
2 – 3 p.m.
Discover the animals of the Georgia coast during a behind-the-scenes tour of the UGA Aquarium. Learn about what it’s like to care for the animals on exhibit and get close-up views of the holding tanks, filter systems and food preparation areas.
Family Field Trips: Every Thursday in June and July
10 a.m. – noon
Explore coastal habitats during hands-on, feet-in field trips.
- Maritime Forest: June 7 & July 5
Discover the hidden wonders of the maritime forest during a guided hike on the natural trail with marine educators. Afterwards, enjoy a live reptile demonstration and interact with snakes and turtles that are native to coastal Georgia.
- Crabbing: June 14 & July 12
Learn about one of Georgia’s most important species, the blue crab, during a catch-and-release crabbing lesson on the dock behind the UGA Aquarium.
- Friends of a Feather: June 21 & July 19
Search for birds of all shapes and sizes in the UGA Aquarium learning garden and on the nature trail. Improve your birding skills by learning new tips and tricks on how to identify birds based on their physical features.
- Marsh Mucking: June 28 & July 26
Grab your mud boots and join educators on a trek through Georgia’s salt marshes. Watch fiddler crabs dancing, hum to periwinkle snails and search for signs of other animals that depend on this important coastal habitat.