While we were New Orleans, we visited the Audubon Aquarium in New Orleans. If you’ve been following my posts, you know that I have developed an interest in aquariums and that I have visited several, including; Monterey Bay Aquarium, Georgia Aquarium and Florida Aquarium.
Today’s visit to the Audubon Aquarium was a disappointment. All of the previous aquariums had an angle: Monterey Bay – the sea otters and their conservation work; Georgia – four whale sharks and again conservation work; Florida – highlighting the everglades fauna and its partnership in conservation work with Monterey Bay. I had expected much the same from the the Audubon, such as highlighting a connection to John James Audubon as its name implies and accentuating its connection to the Mississippi River, which is at its doorstep.
In both cases the connections were present but tenuous. Instead of mentioning Audubon, they chose instead to highlight the Lewis and Clark expedition. The Mississippi connection was brought to light in only one exhibit area and that was mostly in reference to shrimp and crab fishing in the Mississippi delta and Gulf of Mexico.
Also, huge school groups are herded through the facility. They warn you about this on their website and say to arrive late in the day when they are gone. I wish I had heeded their advice. The enormous groups move through fast, don’t bother to pay attention, and create a raucous environment. These kids are the future of conservation and stewardship; the other facilities recognized this and made sure that time was taken to educate and inform. Unfortunately, the Audubon Aquarium did not seem to have that priority.
The Aquarium does have some excellent displays, so if you are interested in seeing them, I would recommend visiting later in the day.