At the Aquarium

We work hard to minimize the natural resources required to operate the Aquarium.

These are some of the things that we are focused on right now.


As you can imagine, the Aquarium uses lots of water. With more than 120,000 gallons on the exhibit floor, there is a lot of water moving in and out of our building everyday. We use Lake Superior water just like the rest of Duluth does and aim to be great stewards of it.

Sealing leaks in pipes and pumps, saving water to be reused for tank cleaning, recirculating water several times through the system  are all ways that we minimize our use of water.

We also have a green space where the roots of native plants like tamarack, aspen and ash clean and slow water moving from our building and parking lot to the harbor.


Pumps and exhibit lighting use energy.

We have installed variable speed drives to regulate energy use, lighting timers in rooms and exhibits and LED lights throughout the Aquarium to reduce the amount of energy we consume. The Aquarium is also a test site for new lighting and energy saving technology for local energy supplier, Minnesota Power/Allete.

Cleaning Supplies

Our staff use reusable cloths and non-toxic cleaners such as vinegar to clean our classrooms, exhibits, and behind the scenes spaces.

Solid Waste

The Aquarium recycles packaging, beverage containers, paper, and plastics. We buy supplies in bulk. Exhibit and building materials are frequently reused or re-purposed. We are currently working on a plan for supporting caterers and special event hosts in composting food waste and paper goods. Stay tuned for more!