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NC Aquariums to Reopen Sept. 14

A sand tiger shark is shown up close at the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores. Photo: Scott Taylor

After being closed since March 17 to slow the spread of COVID-19, the North Carolina Aquariums at Fort Fisher, Pine Knoll Shores and Roanoke Island will reopen to guests Sept. 14.

Gov. Roy Cooper announced this week that the state would move into Safer at Home Phase 2.5 starting Friday.

The aquariums will be bringing back staff and preparing the grounds prior to the Sept. 14 opening and will have in place some new procedures in place to help ensure the safety of guests and staff.

“We can’t wait to be able to do what we do best, which is share the truly astounding animals and habitats we care for,” said Maylon White, North Carolina Aquariums director in a statement. “The public is a key component in our mission of education and inspiration, and we’ll be so happy to have them back.”

Guests will need to reserve online their tickets for specific arrival times online at to allow the aquariums to best provide a safe and enjoyable visit by reducing overall building capacity.

Also, in accordance with Executive Order 163, both guests and employees will need to wear face coverings and maintain social distancing.

“There is a lot of work we need to do to make sure everything runs smoothly after being closed to the public for this long,” White said. “We want the experience to be a great one.”

While the North Carolina Aquariums was closed as part of the statewide effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19, staff continued to care for the animals.

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Staff Report

The story was compiled by staff members of Coastal Review Online.