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EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson to Celebrate Georgia Aquarium’s Designation as a Coastal Ecosystem Learning Center

Release Date: 05/24/2006
Contact Information: Laura Niles, (404) 562-8353,

(ATLANTA- May 24, 2006) Georgia Aquarium will receive a highly prestigious national designation in a ceremony scheduled for May 25, 2006. Georgia Aquarium has been approved for inclusion as the United States’ 19th Coastal Ecosystem Learning Center.

The Coastal Ecosystem Learning Centers are a network of aquariums and marine educational facilities that have pledged to work in partnership with federal agencies to educate and involve the public in protecting our nation’s ecosystems. The network of Learning Centers and their federal partners was created in 1996 by Coastal America, a multi-agency partnership including 11 federal agencies and the White House Council on Environmental Quality. The partnership has the common goal regarding preservation of our coastal environment.

This designation is especially prestigious for the partnership because Georgia Aquarium is the world’s largest aquarium and significantly increases the ability of the Learning Center network to reach an expanded public. A goal of the Administration’s U.S. Ocean Action Plan is to expand the Coastal Ecosystem Learning Center network and partnership. Partnering with the Coastal America federal agencies will enhance Georgia Aquarium’s ability to educate the public about important ocean and coastal issues. More than 1.9 million visitors have toured the Aquarium since its grand opening in November 2005.

When: The ceremony will occur Thursday, May 25, 2006, at 9:30 a.m., with a media availability immediately following. A tour of the Museum and Aquarium will follow at 11 a.m.

Where: The Georgia Aquarium Atrium, which is located at 225 Baker Street, NW, Atlanta, Georgia 30313.

Who: The ceremony will be attended by Steve Johnson, Administrator, U.S. EPA; Bernie Marcus, Benefactor, Georgia Aquarium; Timothy Keeney, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere, U.S. Department of Commerce; regional representatives of the Coastal America Partnership; congressional representatives; local dignitaries; the public; and media.