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A BRIEF HISTORY


    The Aquarium of Niagara Falls opened as a privately owned corporation on June 12, 1965. Founded by a small group of chemists and scientists to introduce an artificial seawater, the Aquarium of Niagara Falls quickly became a model for the operation of inland aquaria. Technology was applied for the first time on a large scale in the preparation, handling and management of synthetic seawater.

    Perhaps as important, the Aquarium was established as an institution for education and recreation. Constructed in an area with both high visitation and historical dependency on the natural resources of the Great Lakes, the Aquarium served students, scientists and visitors from throughout the region. Community support was strong; the innovative inland aquarium won acceptance and forged a bond with the region’s population that continues today.

    In September 1977, the principal owner of the Aquarium of Niagara Falls, Mr. Kelvin Smith of Cleveland, Ohio established Sea Research Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to education and research. At this time, the Aquarium of Niagara became part of Sea Research Foundation. In May 1979, Mystic Marinelife Aquarium was also incorporated. Both Aquariums operated independently with the Foundation.

    In 1994 Sea Research Foundation, Inc. agreed to transfer the Aquarium Of Niagara Falls to a new, local Foundation. To this end, the Niagara Aquarium Foundation was established and incorporated by charter from the Board of Regents of the State University of New York, on February 18, 1994.

    The Niagara Aquarium Foundation, Aquarium of Niagara, is committed to carrying on the institution’s tradition of education, research, and wildlife conservation. The primary purpose of the Aquarium of Niagara is to create a greater awareness, understanding, and appreciation of the aquatic world.

    The pioneering spirit of Mr. Smith and his partners and their dedication to increasing the understanding of aquatic life has been a guiding force of the Aquarium’s present operation. The statement of purpose reflects not only their concern for educational and scientific advancement, but their vision that the Aquarium of Niagara maintain the standards of excellence established in its earlier days.

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