Scenic Overlook Closed for Renovations

The Scenic Overlook is closed for construction, with a new deck expected to reopen this fall. The Nature Trail between the buildings remains open.

Citizen Conservation

Celebrate Plastic Free July with Us!

Join us for our Plastic Free July challenge to reduce plastic waste. The winner will receive a free behind-the-scenes tour!

Join Our Team

Current Conservation Projects

Our team supports a variety of conservation programs and projects, including partnerships with local and international organizations.

Water Quality Lab specialist examines two containers holding water samples

Water Quality Lab

​Approved by the Commonwealth of Virginia's Department of Environmental Quality, the Virginia Aquarium's water quality lab can process water samples from community members interested in monitoring local waterways. You can participate as well!

About Water Quality
A pair of bald eagles land and perch in the branches of a tree

30x30 Initiative

The 30x30 intiative aims to designated 30% of US land and waters as protected space by the year 2030. The campaign is part of a larger global movement calling for more safeguards for natural habitats worldwide.

About 30x30
A tomato clownfish peeks up from its home among a reef full of bubble anemones

SECORE Coral Restoration

Our Aquarium is home to a variety of coral species, and our team recognizes the importance of healthy coral to healthy oceans. As a silver partner with SECORE (Sexual Coral Reproduction), we not only provide them with financial aid, but also field support for SECORE's research and other projects, such as their annual workshop in Curaçao.

A green tree frog looks up from its perch in the hollow of a log

FrogWatch USA

Frogs and toads play a vital role in the ecosystem, serving as both predator and prey, and living in both aquatic and terrestrial habitats. This makes them key indicators of environmental health, and monitoring their populations is important. FrogWatch USA volunteers learn to identify local frog and toad species by their calls during their breeding season and recording observations for research support. Citizens are welcome to get involved!

About FrogWatch USA
A Kemps ridley sea turtle moves across the sand after it is released at the beach following rehabilitation by Stranding Response

AZA Sea Turtle SAFE

Saving Animals From Extinction (SAFE) is a collaboration among members of The Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) with field-based partners aiming to conserve threatened species. Our Aquarium supports the AZA's Sea Turtle SAFE Program to protect the world's turtles, with a focus on critically-endangered Kemp's ridleys and Eastern Pacific leatherbacks.

A Tomistoma at the Virginia Aquarium gazes up towards the camera from beside the water in its habitat

Tomistoma Task Force (IUCN CSG)

Once widespread throughout Southeast Asia, the Tomistoma, or false gharial, fell victim to severe habitat reduction from commercial use. Organizations like the Virginia Aquarium, which houses this crocodilian species, financially support conservation and research, establish husbandry guidelines, and promote the species to the public to raise awareness of these animals.

About the Crocodile Specialist Group
A Komodo Dragon sticks its forked tongue out

Komodo Dragon Conservation

Komodo dragons are the world's largest lizards, but their small, isolated island habitat makes the entire native population vulnerable to catastrophic events. The Indonesian-based Komodo Survival Program monitors Komodo populations, gathering and storing vital conservation data. Our Aquarium supports their program financially, by spreading awareness, and by helping to maintain viable populations should their native home range experience disaster.

About the Survival Program
Our zebra shark Mena rests at the bottom of her exhibit

StAR Zebra Shark Project

Zebra sharks, once commonly spotted in the shallow reefs of Southeast Asia, are now locally extinct. The Stegostoma tigrinum Augmentation and Recovery (StAR) Project is a collaboration between conservation groups and AZA facilities, including the Virginia Aquarium, to establish healthy, self-sustaining zebra shark populations in the waters of Indonesia through strong breeding and juvenile release programs.

About StAR Project
A close up of an osprey as it rests and watches its surroundings from its nest


OspreyWatch is a global monitoring project where citizens and scientists collect data on breeding osprey. The Virginia Aquarium, along with local raptor expert Reese Lukei, works with the Center for Conservation Biology to monitor osprey nests and chicks throughout the breeding season on the Lynnhaven River, home to the largest population of breeding osprey. Citizens are encouraged to participate!

About Osprey Watch
A red tailed hawk looks towards the camera as it rests

Hawk Conservancy Trust

The Hawk Conservancy Trust was founded in 1952 in Andover, England as a local attempt to gain public interest in birds of prey. Today, it produces conservation and research work on a global scale. With the cooperation of conservation organizations worldwide, the HCT delivers programs in research, education, and rehabilitation and generates awareness for birds of prey, their habitats, and the threats they face.

About the Hawk Conservancy