#68: What's Happening - 2009 Things To Remember...

It's hard to believe that 2009 has already retired, heralding in not only a new year but the exciting prospect of an entirely new decade. How time flies, it seems as if it was just last week that I sat down and wrote about the Best of 2008. If there's one thing's for sure, there's never a dull moment when working in the Giant Ocean Tank. So take a break, grab a snack (I'm currently munching down a fantastically tasty spicy turkey panini from the Aquarium's cafe), and let's cheers to 2009, GOT-style...

The Best of 2009

  • 2009 saw us entering into an exciting partnership with Roger Williams University that includes a larval fish program. This program has already yielded results, including the little guy below - a juvenile Queen triggerfish. Queen triggerfish have not been reared in captivity, until now, so we are very pleased with this achievement.

  • The GOT is nothing without its inhabitants. In 2009, we had the good fortune of adding some very interesting animals to the already diverse exhibit...
    • In March we introduced a new green moray eel into the tank. He had a rather interesting history prior to making the GOT his new home and I'm happy to say he is doing extremely well!

    • In July we added a second barracuda, a juvenile that was MUCH smaller than the big guy we already had. However no one told him he was small and, like the new moray, has adjusted to his new home with ease.

    • Finally, we recently we added Ari, a Kemp's ridley turtle that had been rehabilitating down at the Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans after sustaining serious wounds from an unfortunate encounter with a boat's propeller. What an amazing story, and what an amazing turtle. We all love Ari!

  • In the fall, we temporarily removed all four of the GOT's resident sharks (three sand tigers and one nurse) for physicals. That equates to 32 feet, 878 lbs of shark (!). The dive staff is very skilled at this process and the sharks were all pronounced quite healthy.

  • 2009 brought us Big Blue, a brand new SCUBA air compressor. GOT divers use a lot of air, about 215,000 cubic feet of it for 2009, so we need a hard working compressor to meet the demand, and I know Big Blue is up for the task. (By the way, that amount of air would fill over seven GOTs!)

  • Speaking of large numbers and hardworking equipment, in 2009 the pumps for the GOT pushed over 1,168,000,000 gallons of clean water through the tank (yes - that's over one billion gallons).

  • Of course, the GOT couldn't exist without the hard working staff, co-ops, interns, and volunteers that work so diligently at making the GOT such a fantastic, diverse, and healthy exhibit.
    • 2009 saw a surge in diving interns. All told, we had seven: Franco, Linda, Suzanne, Alex, Lizzie, Samantha, and Kristen.

      • We had four fantastic teen interns: Isaiah, Nick, Oriana, and Tizzy.

      • Six new volunteers were added to the ranks of GOT volunteers: Rob, Daire, Ashley, Doris, Alfredo, and Simone.

      • DVIT volunteer (Dive Volunteer In Training) Don converted to a full blown Dive Volunteer in 2009 (Congrats Don!).

      • A testament to how much they enjoyed working in the GOT, we had eleven former co-ops and interns return to volunteer their services in 2009.

      • Finally, though we are all extremely busy with our jobs, the dive staff is a rather diverse and energetic bunch, and we all manage to pursue unique interests outside of the GOT. By way of example, here are two activities that were blogged about during 2009:

      Well, since there's always something interesting happening when it comes to the GOT, I know I've missed a bunch, but it was fun looking back on the exciting year 2009 turned out to be. And I've no doubt 2010 will be anything but boring. As a matter of fact, right now I have to get ready to help pull one of our turtles for a veterinary procedure, and it's not good to keep the vets waiting. So 'til next time...

      Safe diving.

    - John


    Facebook Comments


    Post a Comment

    Comments left in this section do not represent the views of the New England Aquarium. Due to the large volume of questions received, staff cannot respond to individual comments but will consider them when planning future blog posts.