As the competition between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers heats up in anticipation of Sunday’s Super Bowl XLVII, two major US aquariums, National Aquarium, Baltimore and the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, are enlisting the help of their aquatic animals to take their own friendly rivalry off the green and into the blue in the #SuperFishBowl!
Using the social media hashtag #SuperFishBowl, both aquariums are encouraging fans to follow along and help pick what animals they’d like to see on their fantasy fish team. Each institution will share their own fantasy team picks, along with behind-the-scenes images, fascinating animal facts and more with thousands of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram fans – all in excitement for the big game.
Come game day, the #SuperFishBowl winner will be determined by the victorious NFL team, but both aquariums will have reason to celebrate. The losing city’s aquarium will donate $1 to the winning team’s aquarium for every ‘like’ their official #SuperFishBowl contest photo receives during the campaign. The winning donation will be made to either the National Aquarium’s Marine Animal Rescue or California Academy of Sciences’ Coral Conservation program.
To kick off the friendly wager, divers at each aquarium will don jerseys in support of their home team during daily dive presentations in their respective coral reef exhibits on Friday, February 1.
National Aquarium, Baltimore
501 E. Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD 21202
Atlantic Coral Reef Dive at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 2 p.m.
Watch live as National Aquarium brings their purple pride under water in the Atlantic Coral Reef exhibit. Guests may even catch a glimpse of the Ray Lewis “squirrel” dance!
California Academy of Sciences
55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
Coral Reef Dive at 11:30 a.m.
Watch as a diver suits up in SCUBA gear and a San Francisco 49ers jersey while plunging into the world’s deepest living coral reef exhibit. Outfitted with an underwater microphone, the diver will answer reef-related questions from visitors.
National Aquarium Animal Rescue
Every year, thousands of sea turtles, dolphins, whales, seals and manatees become sick or injured, often due to human-related reasons. As part of the Northeast Stranding Network, National Aquarium is responsible for responding to live sea turtle and marine mammal strandings along the nearly 4,300 miles of coastline in Maryland, including the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic coasts. Since 1991, the National Aquarium has responded to more than 480 animals in distress and has rehabilitated and released nearly 100 marine animals back to their natural environment. Many of these animals are endangered or threatened, so every individual introduced back into the natural environment has the opportunity to add to the genetic diversity of the species. Research, satellite tracking and outreach education are also significant components of the program. Every animal that is rehabilitated and released is an opportunity to raise awareness and get the public involved in helping to conserve and protect our marine resources. Visit aqua.org/MARP to find out how you can help.
California Academy of Sciences Coral Conservation
The Academy’s Philippine Coral Reef exhibit is the world’s deepest display of living corals, housing several hundred colonies from more than 100 species. As partners in Project SECORE, the Academy is helping to restore coral colonies in the wild. The goal of this effort is to save two endangered species of Caribbean stony corals: Acropora palmata and Acropora cervicornis. Collecting sperm and egg bundles from corals, culturing and then settling larvae in a lab provides corals with a head start in the growth process, with the goal of repopulating reefs with these endangered coral species. Often called rainforests of the sea, coral reefs are the most diverse aquatic ecosystems on the planet. They are also among the most endangered – up to 70% of the world’s tropical coral reefs may disappear within the next 15 years due to the impacts of global warming and other environmental stresses. The Academy is currently developing a project that will allow SECORE to extend its research network to the Philippines to increase restoration efforts based on transplanting cultured corals and conservation of impacted coral reefs. For more information, visit calacademy.org/academy/exhibits/aquarium/.