Maui Ocean Center Unveils
New Coral Reefs Exhibit

Maui Ocean Center, the Hawaiian Aquarium, is proud to unveil its newest exhibit, Coral Reefs, now available for viewing. The brand new exhibit, which includes video from a LCD flat screen, stunning coral images, and the skeleton of 125,000 year-old coral, is located in the aquarium's Living Reef building. The unveiling of Coral Reefs coincides with the aquarium's S...ex and the Sea promotion in July, which highlights the mysterious world of coral reproduction.

"Healthy coral is fundamental to healthy oceans. As part of Maui Ocean Center's mission to foster understanding of Hawai`i's marine life, it's essential that we explain the structure and biology of corals and their relation to the health of the reef. The new Coral Reefs exhibit, with its interactive models and live coral examples, is a fantastic way to communicate the importance of corals," said Kate Zolezzi, General Manager.

The exhibit is designed as a walk-through, providing visitors with comprehensive information about this important, living animal through informational panels. Through a number of stations explaining coral anatomy, history, reproduction, significance, and varieties, guests will read about the ecological and cultural importance of coral reefs in Hawai`i. A mixture of interactive components will give guests in-depth understanding of how coral reproduces, thrives, and influences our lives.

Maui Ocean Center houses the nation's largest collection of living corals, and is dedicated to promoting awareness of conserving Hawai`i's coral reef systems through education. "Coral reefs are the most diverse ecosystems in the world. Here in Hawai`i many marine species live life in, on and even around coral reefs. It is great that Maui Ocean Center can share valuable information about this vital aspect of the marine environment," expressed Ka`au Abraham, Education Manager. Along with fascinating Ocean Naturalist presentations, vibrant exhibits, and the brand new Coral Reefs exhibit, Maui Ocean Center empowers visitors with helpful hints on how to help care for coral reefs with the '10 Ways to Protect Coral Reefs' card, provided by the County of Maui International Year of the Reef Task Force.

Corals at Maui Ocean Center

The corals displayed at Maui Ocean Center are alive. Prior to the aquarium opening in 1998, fragments of coral were collected from Hawaiian waters and brought into exhibits where they have grown and continue to thrive. Each exhibit is designed to show the coral in its natural state and to preserve its health and well being. Maui Ocean Center operates under a special permit from the Department of Land and Natural Resources to care for and display live coral.

The mission of Maui Ocean Center is to foster understanding, wonder and respect for Hawaii's marine life. This state-of-the-art aquarium was named Hawaii's top attraction by the Zagat Survey US Family Travel Guide. Open daily from 9 to 5, and from 9 to 6 in July and August. For more information please contact the Maui Ocean Center: 192 Ma'alaea Road; Ma'alaea, HI 96793; telephone (808) 270-7000, facsimile (808) 270-7070, info@mauioceancenter.com or visit www.mauioceancenter.com

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