In December of 2005, an orphaned bottlenose dolphin was rescued after being caught in a crab trap. She was brought to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium's rehabilitation center, where the team worked constantly to bring the dolphin, now named Winter, back to health. Soon, for the first time in her adult life, Winter swam like a true dolphin. It was a story of courage and heart worthy of Hollywood?in fact, Winter starred as herself in 2011's Dolphin Tale, a cinematic recreation of her life that reached #1 at the box office.
Today, Winter lives at Clearwater Marine Aquarium with her her bottlenose friend Hope, who'll soon star with her in the upcoming Dolphin Tale 2. Here, visitors can watch them swim and play, along with many more animals who got a second chance thanks to the aquarium's rehabilitation team. Visitors can meet these inspirational animals, witness the team in action, and support the effort to save marine animals.
The Florida Aquarium gives families a glimpse into the mysteries and magic of the undersea world and some of the land that surrounds it. The new Journey to Madagascar exhibit provides a look into the island's unique wildlife and diverse geography as well as the nearby Indian Ocean coral reef. The marine life exhibits spotlight the creatures that live in the bay or deeper underwater, even allowing kids to touch rays and sharks at Stingray Beach or lock eyes with sea turtles. Kids also see the sights of a 60-foot dive at the coral-reef exhibit's walk-through tunnel, whose underwater coral cave and brightly colored fish earned the aquarium a place in Parents magazine's top 10 aquariums for kids. A trip down the Wetlands Trail allows visitors to get face to face with playful otters and more circumspect Burmese pythons, while the Penguin Point opens a window into the lives of the best dressed of the flightless water birds.
Anchored at the beach of the pristine Sand Key Park, Sand Key Paddle Sports arms clients with self-propelled seafaring vessels and sets them adrift on the placid waters of Clearwater Harbor. Paddlers can saddle up on a soft top paddleboard, boogie board, or single or tandem kayak, and then direct their drift toward the many sights and sounds nearby. These may include the vast array of wildlife?including heron, roseate spoonbill, and common moorhen?or the barrier island's natural features, such as the salt marsh and the indigenous sand castles.
At SeaWorld Orlando, the world of undersea wonder comes alive like no place short of the ocean itself. From the graceful might of the killer whales in the Shamu show One Ocean to the epic 3D voyage of sea turtles in the 360 TurtleTrek, the park explores the vibrant life that bustles just below the water's surface. The voyage even takes visitors to the cold shores of Antarctica, letting them see the world through the eyes of a the world's best-dressed bird in Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin.
Since 1955, Mote has been working to explore, understand and unlock the mysteries of the sea to ensure that ocean resources are available for generations to come. Mote Aquarium features touch pools, shark, dolphin, manatee and sea turtle exhibits and more than 100 other species of marine life.