This story was updated at 8:25 p.m. on Tuesday, July 28, 2020, with more information.
The Tennessee Aquarium has launched a new website as its digital audience continues to grow amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to an Aquarium news release.
The new website, created through a partnership between the Aquarium and Chattanooga-based digital marketing agency Whiteboard, features a new display of information along with seven live web cameras for viewers, enhanced animal pages and a new ticketing process for planning visits to the Aquarium and IMAX Theater.
"Millions of people have enjoyed our online presence and social channels this year. The new website expands our capabilities to deliver our animals and experts to everyone between their in-person visits," Aquarium President and CEO Keith Sanford said in the release. "Virtual visits and online engagement help spark curiosity and appreciation for the natural world."
The launch of the website, which was part of the Aquarium's 2019 budget, was delayed first by this year's three-month long closure due to the arrival of the coronavirus in Hamilton County and then again before the reopening due to the timed-ticketing process, according to Aquarium spokesman Thom Benson.
Online visitors can browse exhibit and animal galleries, explore education opportunities, stay up to date on conservation efforts and more at https://tnaqua.org/.
"I'll never forget my first field trip to the Tennessee Aquarium when I was in 3rd grade (circa 1994). Today, I love watching my kids experience the Aquarium like I did when I was their age," Whiteboard Co-Founder and CCO Eric Brown said in the release. "When first starting Whiteboard in 2010, working with the Tennessee Aquarium was part of our 'bucket list' of clients we'd hope to serve one day. It's been a joy to help bring this new digital experience to life. Our hope is that visitors of all ages will find a digital world worth exploring and inspires everyone to make the Tennessee Aquarium a must-see destination."
Along with the new website, the Aquarium has now made a digital version of Riverwatch available for members. The formerly printed publication takes readers behind-the-scenes to learn more about how the Aquarium's animals are cared for and provides opportunities to travel virtually to remote locations where conservation biologists are working with aquatic wildlife.
The Aquarium reopened to the public on June 18. Days after it closed its doors in March, the decision was made to lay off over 100 part-time employees. The closure cost the attraction 90% of its revenue.
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