Coral reefs are colonies of small animals, known as polyps, which release calcium carbonate to form a hard skeleton on which they live. Coral reefs are found in shallow, tropical waters around the world. Living coral reefs provide homes for large numbers of marine animals – while coral reefs make up only 1 percent of the ocean’s habitat, they also include over 25 percent of its species! Students will develop an understanding of coral reefs and their conservation challenges.
Through students' visits to Atlantis, we hope to open up their minds to the physical sciences and help facilitate their critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. This knowledge should lead many on the path to future careers in the sciences. We are a resource for you. Please contact us if you have any questions as you prepare your students for their Aquaventure.
All of Atlantis’ education programs and curriculums support the Science and Technology Standards and Benchmarks K-6 for The Commonwealth of The Bahamas, including “Knows about the diversity and unity that characterizes life” and “Understands how species depend on one another and the environment for survival."
Atlantis, Paradise Island, strives to inspire students to learn more about the aquatic world that surrounds them in The Bahamas. Through the interactive, interdisciplinary activities in the classroom and at Atlantis, we endeavor to help students develop an understanding of the ocean and a desire to help conserve it and its wildlife.
The ocean is the most incredible and fascinating place on the planet. Grand as the gray whales who call it home, as engaging as the dolphins that ride the waves, and as intricate as the coral reefs, the beauty of the ocean is rivaled only by its inhabitants.
Coral reefs, found in shallow and tropical waters, are colonies of small animals known as polyps, which release calcium carbonate to form a hard skeleton on which they live.
Sea Lions derive their name from the Latin for wing-footed, referring to the animal’s flippers. Sea lions are carnivores and belong to the group Pinnipedia, which also includes seals and walruses.
Dolphins belong to a group of marine mammals called toothed whales. The toothed whale group, or Odontoceti, includes not only dolphins but also porpoises, river dolphins, and even the sperm whale.
|Atlantis Paradise Island, has made a commitment to foster the preservation and conservation of Bahamian coral reefs through an initiative called the Atlantis Blue Project. This essential project is one that will benefit our local community, our future generations and the world through the pioneering work of this project.|
The Dolphin Cay story started back in August 2005, as Hurricane Katrina was racing toward the Gulf Coast. In the hours before the storm barreled ashore, 12 of 17 dolphins were evacuated from the Marine Life Oceanarium in Gulfport, Mississippi, and given temporary sanctuary in various marine facilities scattered throughout the eastern United States. 6 of the dolphins were washed into the Gulf of Mississipi, continuing to return to the site of the Oceanarium to find food. After the storm had passed, Atlantis agreed to reunite the stranded dolphins (now living in an above ground pool at the local Naval Base) and evacuees and began work on a purpose-built marine habitat.
Transporting dolphins isn’t easy. A team of 150 people was assembled, including marine specialists and a veterinarian. Wee Tee, Echo, Sasha and Naia (who had been living at the Baltimore Aquarium and at Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey) came together in Philadelphia. Their plane then flew on to Mobile, Alabama, where Jill, Kelly, Jacki, Michelle, Tamra, Toni, Noah, Elijah, Cherie, Brewer, Katelyn and Johnah (who had been living at the Navy Construction Battalion Center in Gulfport and Florida’s Gulfarium in Fort Walton Beach) were waiting. Upon arrival on Paradise Island, the dolphins were transported to a spacious saltwater acclimation habitat in Nassau Harbour, where they lived through 2006.
The acclimation habitat was an important transition for the dolphins. Its natural sandy bottom and 1.5 million gallons of Bahamian ocean water allowed the dolphins to slowly adjust to their new surroundings. A staff of 45 marine mammal specialists monitored them around-the-clock.
Finally, in January 2007, the dolphins were acclimatized and Atlantis’ Dolphin Cay was ready. It remains one of the largest and finest man-made, inland dolphin habitats in the world.