Open 9:00AM Daily
Parking is Free Everyday
Last admission at 4:30PM
Building closes at 5:00PM
A Brief History
Over 50 years ago, on June 12, 1965, the Aquarium of Niagara opened as a privately-owned corporation. Founded by a small group of chemists and scientists, the first goal was to introduce an artificial seawater formula specifically for inland Aquariums. This seawater formula is now used by most inland aquariums around the world. For the first time in this area, technology was applied on a large scale in the preparation, handling and management of synthetic seawater.
Just as important, the Aquarium was established as a forward-thinking institution to advance education, conservation and recreation for marine ecosystems. The Niagara Falls area boasts a high visitation and tourist rates in the summer months. The Aquarium's proximity to the natural resources of the Great Lakes serves students, scientists and visitors throughout the region. Community support was strong for this innovative inland aquarium. The initial founders won acceptance and forged a bond with the region's people that continues to this day.
Kelvin Smith, one of the principal owners, established a non-profit organization called Sea Research Foundation in 1977. The foundation was dedicated to marine life education and research and the Aquarium of Niagara became part of the Sea Research Foundation. Two years later, in 1979, the Mystic Marine life Aquarium became the second independently-operated institution under the Sea Research Foundation umbrella.
In 1994 the Sea Research Foundation transferred the Aquarium of Niagara to a new, local foundation now called the Niagara Aquarium Foundation. The Niagara Aquarium Foundation was established and incorporated by charter from the Board of Regents of the State University of New York on February 18, 1994.
The Niagara Aquarium Foundation, also known as the Aquarium of Niagara, is committed to the tradition of education, research, and wildlife conservation.
The pioneering spirit of Kelvin Smith and his partners and their dedication to creating the understanding of aquatic ecosystems, remains the guiding force of the Aquarium of Niagara today.