Team ECCO Aquarium & Shark LabTeam ECCO Aquarium & Shark Lab
Living in Western North Carolina, the opportunity to explore marine life from different parts of the ocean is a scarcity. That is why in 2001, Team ECCO was started as a learning program to reach and teach students of all ages about the ocean. Location should not be an excuse for lack of resources and knowledge, so Executive Director, Brenda Ramer decided to take action. She worked to grow and expand Team ECCO, gaining full IRS 501 c 3 non-profit status in 2005.
Four years later, the first Team ECCO classroom was established. What started out as a simple 800-square foot room grew in two more years to a public aquarium. In 2011, Team ECCO opened the doors of the first inland aquarium in North Carolina- The Team ECCO Ocean Center & Aquarium on Main Street in Hendersonville, North Carolina.
Our Aquarium is home to dozens of species of tropical ocean fish and invertebrates. We house a reptile collection that includes frogs, lizards, geckoes, turtles and tortoises, which are kept under strict guidelines and permit from NCDNR.
In order to expand our learning even further than our aquarium, we partner with outside institutions to provide the most well-rounded education that we can. These places include organizations such as the Georgia Aquarium and the UA Biosphere 2 in Oracle, AZ.
We train and incorporate student interns and volunteers into daily care and maintenance. The Executive Director shares her passion for teaching with her love of the ocean as a volunteer. Team ECCO has 3 part time paid position: front desk/bookkeeping; Lead Intern; &Assistant Director.Those involved take such pride in the work that they perform. Even on days when we are not open , we are there dedicated to making sure that our animals are taken care of.
Team ECCO encourages minds and bodies with custom field exploration trips to local and distant points of environmental interest. These areas of interest include manatees, aquifers, coral reef development, sea turtles, shark research and mangrove recovery.
Experience is the best teacher and a positive learning experience can change a life.