Coral reefs will take the spotlight at Maui Ocean Center on the evening of Thurs. July 12, 2018, when rice corals exhibited at the aquarium are predicted to spawn. Incredible Corals: Night at the Aquarium features keiki activities, special presentations, a lecture by coral expert Dave Gulko, live entertainment and more.
“Coral reefs are the foundation of life for Hawai‘i’s marine animals and are nothing short of incredible,” said Tapani Vuori, general manager of Maui Ocean Center. “This signature event provides a rare opportunity to explore the aquarium at night and foster a newfound sense of wonder for coral reefs. It’s a fun, educational experience for everyone – from fellow ‘reef geeks’ to those seeking a unique experience on Maui.”
The aquarium’s iconic living reef exhibits provide a diverse look into Hawai‘i’s coral reefs, featuring over 40 Hawaiian coral species and local marine life found in shallow to deep water habitats. Guests can learn about coral anatomy and behavior or attend a keynote presentation on coral reproduction by State of Hawai‘i Department of Aquatic Resources Biologist, Dave Gulko.
Based on the summer lunar cycle, rice corals around Maui are predicted to spawn on this night. “Coral spawning is one of nature’s marvels that often goes unseen,” said Cultural Director John Gorman. “We’re excited and hopeful that guests will be able to witness this occurrence at Maui Ocean Center. While we cannot guarantee spawning will happen due to numerous environmental factors, we are confident that guests will develop a greater appreciation and knowledge of Hawai‘i’s corals.”
Additional event highlights include a dive presentation in the open ocean exhibit, sing-along sea songs for children with Louise Lambert, outdoor stargazing with astronomer Rakhal Kincaid and live music by Anthony Pfluke. Shopping at Maui Ocean Treasures and dining at the Reef Café, featuring a full bar and grilling station, will be available.
Incredible Corals: Night at the Reef will take place from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Tickets are available for purchase online and at the park entrance. General admission is $34.95 per adult and $24.95 per child (age 3-12) and senior citizen (age 65+). Discounts up to 50% are available for Hawaii Residents, U.S. Military and Annual Pass Holders. All prices are plus tax and a valid ID is required for discounted rates. For more information, visit www.mauioceancenter.com  or call (808) 270-7000.