H20 Friends Community Visits
One of the Aquarium Foundation’s main goals is to provide free Aquarium admission for students and families in under-resourced communities through our H20 Friends program (Help to our Friends). We had many schools signed up for free field trips last spring when the Aquarium had to close due to the Coronavirus quarantine. We were disappointed to not be able to welcome thousands of school children into the new Aquarium to learn about the amazing animals that live in our rivers and oceans. As we reopened in June with limited capacity and safety measures in place, we were honored to have partnered with Parents as Teachers and Variety St. Louis to welcome their families with a free Aquarium visit. With most summer camps being cancelled and students learning at home this fall, the families were excited to come to the Aquarium. Take a look at Fox 2 News’ feature of Variety’s visit in October. 
Thank you to Kent Family Foundation, Nance Frost, Enterprise Bank & Trust Foundation, First Bank and all of our generous donors for helping to provide support to the H20 Friends program!
Members' Night at the Aquarium
One of the benefits of becoming a member of the Foundation's Global Waters Circle or Aquarium Friends Circle is an annual members-only event. On October 8th, we welcomed our members for a private after-hours visit to the St. Louis Aquarium. We enjoyed showing off the Aquarium to our special supporters and hope our members had fun taking selfies with the Shark mascot, meeting Coconut the sloth, going behind-the-scenes at Shark Canyon, and meeting our staff and volunteers!

Thank you, members, for your support during these challenging times, and a special thank you to our volunteers who helped make the night so memorable!
Photos by Florence Flick, St. Louis Aquarium Foundation volunteer
Donor Spotlight:
Frederic Roofing Co.
Raise the Roof for Frederic Roofing’s Support!

We all probably know the jingle, “For a hole in the roof or a whole new roof, Frederic Roofing.” According to Bob Frederic, president of Frederic Roofing, his uncle Russ came up with the slogan in the 1960’s, and it still resonates today. Established in 1929, Frederic Roofing is a family-owned business with four generations of the Frederic family leading the company.  

Frederic Roofing has been a roofing contractor for LHM hotels for many years, most recently working on the important project of repairing the St. Louis Union Station train shed. Bob Frederic said, “It was such an honor to be selected to make the improvements on the train shed as the historic building was being renovated and repurposed with the Aquarium, Wheel, Soda Fountain, and more!”

When Bob O’Loughlin, Chairman and CEO of LHM, announced there would be a nonprofit partner to the Aquarium focused on bringing schools and families from under-resourced communities to the Aquarium for free, as well as providing aquatic-science education programs for schools, Bob was committed. Frederic Roofing was one of the first donors to the Aquarium Foundation, making a generous pledge of $150,000!  

“Bob (O’Loughlin) told me about the Aquarium Foundation in 2017, and right then I knew I wanted to support it,” said Bob (Frederic). “I respect his vision for downtown and Union Station, as well as our community’s tourism industry that all help make our city a destination for both locals and out-of-town visitors. Making sure underserved students have the opportunity to visit the Aquarium is compelling to me.”

On behalf of the board and staff of the Aquarium Foundation, thank you to Frederic Roofing!
Volunteer Spotlight:
Florence Flick
Florence has been volunteering with us since before the Aquarium opened, and even helped out with our pre-opening events in December 2019. Florence is originally from France but moved to St. Louis to work as a mechanobiologist at Washington University. She mainly serves as an Education Volunteer in our Conservation & Education Center, but has also volunteered at events including a recent river clean-up and served as a volunteer photographer at our Members' Night. Read below to hear what she has to say about her experiences volunteering with the Aquarium Foundation!

What made you decide to volunteer with the St. Louis Aquarium Foundation?
I grew up with a mom passionate about the marine world. She is also an aquarium addict. I spent hours of my life watching documentaries about marine life in general and about big aquarium conceptions across the world. She is a huge fan of the Lisbon Aquarium but has still yet to visit the St. Louis Aquarium. Being 7,000 km away from home, I saw volunteering with the St. Louis Aquarium Foundation as a way to build a stronger connection with her – she asks me on a daily basis how Fluffy (our giant Pacific octopus) is doing, as well as meeting and connecting with fellow passionate people. 

What has been your favorite part of volunteering so far?
Meeting new people. I enjoy volunteering in the CEC and seeing children joyfully discover their fish swimming in the virtual Mississippi River or simply discovering new things while playing, and seeing family (re-)connecting.

Do you have a favorite animal or exhibit in the Aquarium or Conservation & Education Center?
My favorites are Shark Canyon and the jellyfishes! I have a huge admiration for the Goliath Grouper out in Shark Canyon, seeing him makes my day! My parents are still fighting to decide if they will “adopt” the octopus or the turtle in the meantime. But I guess, Santa will bring them both.
 
Anything else you’d like to share?
Volunteering at the Aquarium, especially at the opening, allowed me to be more social and spend my Christmas far away from home, in a new home full of amazing and passionate people, and I am very grateful for this opportunity.

Interested in volunteering? Learn more or complete an application here!
Events and How to Get Involved:
Adopt-An-Animal
You can symbolically adopt an Aquarium animal to support water conservation efforts to protect the adopted species in its native habitat and provide STEM education and conservation programs through the Aquarium Foundation. It’s also a great gift for a loved one for the holiday season, birthdays, anniversaries… or just to show your love for aquatic animals! Order yours here!
Junior Biologist Learning Kits
Looking for some hands-on, STEM-based learning for your kiddos? Our Junior Biologist Learning Kits are designed for kids ages 7-13 to explore marine biology and spark their interest in science! We have 3 different Junior Biologist Learning Kit themes: Animal Patterns, Animal Adaptations, and Conservation. Order yours here!
#GivingTuesday
December 1, 2020
#GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement, unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world. Join us to bring the wonder of the St. Louis Aquarium to underserved schools and families throughout the St. Louis area. Donate early here!
Animal Spotlight:
Amazon Poison Dart Frogs
Ranitomeya ventrimaculata
As their name may suggest, Amazon dart frogs are found in the Amazon Rainforest. They spend most of their time up in the trees, but come down to the forest floor to feed. When full-grown, the frogs are typically only about one inch long.

The small amphibians are most well known for secreting poison that makes them toxic to the touch. Because of their toxicity, indigenous hunters have coated the tips of their blow darts with the poison for centuries to assist in hunting. Contrary to popular belief, the frogs themselves are not poisonous, rather they eat poisonous insects and secrete the poison out through glands on their skin. Poison dart frogs raised in captivity and away from the poisonous insects in their native habitats do not develop poison.

While their toxicity helps them survive, they also use a tactic named aposematic coloration to ward off predators. Aposematic coloration means that they are brightly colored as a way to warn predators that they are poisonous. Since they have two well adapted defense mechanisms, their only real predator is the fire-bellied snake (Leimadophis epinephelus), which has developed a resistance to the frog's poison. The are also threatened by habitat loss due to deforestation.

You can visit the Amazon poison dart frogs in two locations in the Aquarium: next to the Confluence Gallery (Mississippi River exhibit) and across from the otter pool on the lower level.
St. Louis Aquarium Foundation | 314.923.3926 | info@stlaquariumfoundation.org