St. Augustine Aquarium

Science • Environmental / Ecology

St. Augustine Aquarium

No. 20364

St. Augustine Aquarium

Bringing the Newest Public Aquarium to America's Oldest City

Funding Goal



The money will be used for the acquisition of marine species including sand tiger, bonnet head and black nose sharks as well as octopus, barracuda, eels, grouper, rays and a host of Florida reef fish. Also in support of our Conservation Through Education mission.

About Project

Click on the first box above to view our video!

We are Shawn and Kathy Hiester, and we are the founders of the St. Augustine Aquarium. Our goal is to improve our community's knowledge and understanding of the marine environment in order to raise awareness of the critical threats to our ocean and reef ecosystems. Also, we hope to provide a home for rescued marine animals such as sea turtles through our established partnerships with local research centers and other area rescue organizations.

Project Showcase Proposal

We will bring a sample of the aquarium experience to One Spark. By introducing attendees to real, live Florida reef fish and invertebrates through an observation aquarium and a hands-on experience, we hope to build excitement for all of the experiences and activities that we plan to offer at the St. Augustine Aquarium. Our knowledgeable staff will provide information on the critical environmental issues facing the marine ecosystem and provide examples of how we can all join together to address them. We will also showcase a selection of really cool shark videos, shot right off the coast of Florida!

Project Showcase Requirements

Indoor/Outdoor Est. Dimensions
indoor Length: 10' Width: 8' Height: 8'

Project Questions

What city is your project based out of?

St. Augustine, FL

What sets your Project apart from what is currently available?

The St. Augustine Aquarium, when complete, will be the only public aquarium in Northeast Florida. The main tank will include a recreated sunken shipwreck in its center to highlight our wreck and reef environment, including four different shark species, a plethora of reef fish and invertebrates. This will be a true community asset, with marine sciences education and conservation awareness as our primary goals. We will also highlight Northeast Florida's rich maritime heritage through the recreated 17th century shipwreck, narrative history and display of local archeological artifacts. Groundbreaking is scheduled for summer 2014 and completion in spring 2015.

Why are you and your team the best people on the planet to handle this project?

My wife Kathy and I have a life-long passion for marine biology and the ocean environment. We founded Marine Conservation Partners and assembled a team of experts from across the country to help us create a first-class aquarium, botanical gardens and aviary attraction. We are providing the private funding necessary to make this dream a reality. We plan to use the project to energize the community at large to want to be better stewards of this truly magnificent, non-renewable resource.