The Vaquita Porpoise is on the brink of extinction. Read below to learn the many ways in which the Gulfarium has been actively involved to help save the few remaining Vaquita.
The Emerald Coast Helps Save the World's Rarest Marine Mammal
Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park and the team at Painting with a Twist welcomed guests Thursday night, November 16th, to "Paint with a Porpoise". The event was held to raise funds for the Consortium for Vaquita Conservation, Protection, and Recovery (VaquitaCPR), a bold effort to save the few Vaquita that remain. Nearly sixty people were in attendance to enjoy the event and paint a picture of the Vaquita porpoise. Delicious hors d'oeuvres were provided by the Black Pearl, and every guest went home with a complimentary admission pass to visit the Gulfarium. Prizes included one of a kind paintings created by Gulfarium's dolphins, a 2-night stay at the Hilton Garden Inn, an exclusive piece of art created by local artist, Joyful Enriquez, and more.
At the end of the evening, Meredith Horn, Director of Marketing and Communications for the Gulfarium, announced $1,645 was raised for VaquitaCPR. David Presnell, with Painting with a Twist, presented a giant check at that time as the crowd cheered.
Special guests in the room included Will Merrill, President of the Gulfarium, and Patrick Berry, Gulfarium's General Manager. Meredith Horn gave a warm welcome to Dr. Forrest Townsend who took the stage to share a few words. Dr. Townsend recently participated in field operations as senior veterinarian to help with the project." The sold out room was clearly captivated by the experiences and perspectives he shared," said Berry. "It's great to witness collaborative support with those who have the same passion for conservation and education."
"The story of this rare and elusive porpoise has gained global attention. The greatest experts from all around the world have come together to help the world's smallest and most critically endangered marine mammal," says Horn. "We, at the Gulfarium, are thrilled to bring the Vaquita's story to the Emerald Coast."
Gulfarium participated in the #Pied4aPorpoise challenge. This story reached tens of thousands of people on social media, caught the attention of our local paper, and sparked the idea to launch our "Paint with a Porpoise" fundraiser at Painting with a Twist.