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(New Orleans, La.) - Audubon Aquarium of the Americas celebrates its 25th birthday with a splash, featuring three days of "fintastic" activities this Labor Day weekend! The festivities include extended hours, discounted admission, music performances, and much more! The Aquarium opened on September 1, 1990, and since then, more than 23 million people have visited this popular New Orleans attraction.

In 1984, Audubon Nature Institute explored the idea of opening up the New Orleans riverfront and building an aquarium dedicated to the aquatic environments of South, Central and North America. Aquarium construction began on January, 14, 1988, with officials driving the first steel piling.

On opening day, the Aquarium welcomed 13,623 visitors, breaking all opening day records for any U.S. aquarium. By early 1991, just six months after its debut, the aquarium reached its first-year attendance goal of 868,000 visitors.



"Twenty-five years later, the Aquarium and Woldenberg Park have far exceeded our expectations, transforming the riverfront into the city's 'front porch' and a popular gathering place for our community," said Audubon Nature Institute CEO and President Ron Forman. "Audubon attractions have forever changed the New Orleans waterfront."

Forman adds, "By fulfilling our mission of conservation, education, and recreation, Audubon Nature Institute has become an anchor for family tourism in New Orleans, providing an economic impact of nearly $600 million for the city."

Since the 1990 grand opening, the Aquarium has had many memorable moments, including the arrival of rescued and rehabilitated Southern sea otters, the joyful homecoming of the Aquarium's penguins following Hurricane Katrina, and the opening of the Great Maya Reef.

"Audubon Aquarium of the America has become a key attraction for not only the citizens of the region but also visitors from all over the globe," said Mark Romig, President and CEO of New Orleans Tourism and Marketing Corporation. "Year after year, it has provided the wonders of the sea with a fun, educational approach, and our visitors have consistently ranked it as one of the top reasons for visiting New Orleans. New Orleans' reputation as a family destination has grown tremendously due to the Aquarium."

Stephen Perry, President and CEO of the New Orleans Convention and Visitor Bureau adds: "Audubon Aquarium of the Americas is one of our city's most beloved attractions by visitors and citizens alike. It is an anchor family destination at the edge of the historic French Quarter which has become a catalyst for efforts to reinvent the riverfront area near the foot of Canal so that our city's most valuable real estate can reach its full potential. I have no doubt that the next 25 years will bring even more growth and world-class programming to the Aquarium of the Americas."

The birthday bash features extended hours (9 a.m. to 9 p.m.), a giveaway for the first 500 guests each day, discounted admission (25% off adult, child, and senior general admission ticket prices), educational programming throughout the building, mermaid appearances, licensed character appearances by favorites like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles© 2015, and much more!

Audubon Nature Institute encourages the public to share their favorite Aquarium moments using the hashtags #fintasticmemories and #audubonaquarium. For more information, visit