CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The South Carolina Aquarium on Tuesday announced the launch of a fundraising campaign to offset losses accrued due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and protect critical aquarium programs.
A 68-day closure and subsequent limited reopening due to COVID-19 put the aquarium at a severe disadvantage, as “general admission sales and membership make up approximately 80%” of its yearly revenue. With the shutdowns taking place during peak spring and summer months, the blow was made even worse.
To save what the aquarium considers “the heart and soul” of their mission — education programs and the Sea Turtle Care Center — they have launched Our World Without, a fundraising campaign with a goal of generating $1.6 million by March 31, 2021.
President and CEO Kevin Mills explained:
“Without a significant infusion of cash, we risk losing the heart and soul of who we are, and whom we aim to serve. Our classrooms may go quiet, with us unable to connect to the thousands of learners we impact each year…. At this rate, we may be forced to turn away these sick and injured sea turtles needing our expertise in rehabilitative care. If we cannot return these sentinel species to the wild, we risk detrimental effects to their populations as a whole. Without financial stability, we very well might find ourselves unable to answer those rescue calls, leaving sick and injured sea turtles to their own demise. We are turning to our community to help us stabilize these programs, and together we can succeed. ”
For more information on Our World Without, or to make a contribution, click here.