Rescue, Rehabilitation, Research & Responsibility
You can make a difference today by becoming a Georgia Aquarium member or supporting our 4R Program. As a 501(c)3 not-for-profit, we rely on the support of our community to continue with our groundbreaking research initiatives, educational programs and conservation efforts. To make a tax-deductible gift to our programming, please click here.
The 4R Program encompasses, supports and funds Georgia Aquarium efforts in the areas of rescue, rehabilitation, research and responsibility. Within the Aquarium, the 4Rs are seen in virtually every exhibit, from our beluga whales to our loggerhead sea turtles, to our living coral reef and sea otters. Behind the scenes at the Aquarium, the 4R Program plays an active role by funding work through the Correll Center for Aquatic Animal Health, the integration of a novel postdoctoral veterinary residency program in clinical medicine and pathology; our state-of-the-art commissary; our biologists’ daily activities; and, even in research as far away as Alaska, Mexico, Russia and South Africa.
4R - Key Projects
Rescue – Southern Sea Otters
Georgia Aquarium is committed to the rescue and rehabilitation of stranded Southern sea otter pups off the coast of California and Alaska. Only 25% of pups survive the first year, and when pups are separated from their mothers, the odds of survival drastically change. By working with groups like The Alaska SeaLife Center and Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Sea Otter and Research Conservation programs, we are able to aid in the rescue of sea otter pups and rehabilitate them in our newly renovated Southern sea otter exhibit in Georgia-Pacific Cold Water Quest.
Rehabilitation – Sea Turtles
Through Georgia Aquarium's 4R Program, we are able to rehabilitate and release loggerhead sea turtles back into their natural habitats. We are also able to provide satellite tagging for turtles, which allows them to be tracked after their release. Learn more about Georgia Aquarium's efforts and track released turtles.
Research – Whale Sharks
Georgia Aquarium has been carrying out research on whale sharks since 2003 with a number of partners. In past years, the Aquarium's field research has focused on where whale sharks migrate to, what they feed on and where they go when they leave. Additionally, having whale sharks in an aquarium setting is a fantastic research opportunity so we continue to study the whale sharks in the Ocean Voyager exhibit, including their growth, behaviour, health and genetics. Learn more about Georgia Aquarium's whale shark research.
Responsibility – Georgia Aquarium Conservation Field Station
Located in Marineland, Florida, Georgia Aquarium’s Conservation Field Station (GACFS) was established in 2008 as part of Georgia Aquarium’s ongoing research and conservation efforts through our 4R Program. The field station is dedicated to furthering our understanding of dolphins, marine mammals and aquatic species found along our coast through the 4Rs: Rescue, Research, Rehabilitation and Responsibility. Learn more about GACFS.
Why the 4R Program is Important
Support of Georgia Aquarium’s 4R Program enables us to continue making a positive impact in the health and welfare of aquatic life from around the globe. This pioneering program allows us to remain at the forefront of aquatic science worldwide.
Your support is instrumental to our success. There are several ways to support Georgia Aquarium’s programming. Joining Georgia Aquarium’s Oceans Society will provide you with great benefits while supporting a critical program. The Georgia Aquarium license plate is a great way to visibly show your support as you drive in style. In addition, you can give a one-time monetary gift in any amount or provide for us in your estate plans through a planned gift.