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Ten reasons BC Hydro loves the Vancouver Aquarium

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Must-see attraction is big on entertainment and sustainability

Loved by locals and a must-see for visitors to the city, the Vancouver Aquarium is a leader in connecting people to the natural world.

It's also dedicated to conservation and sustainability, which are key to its expansion.

That's why we've teamed up with the aquarium to feature ticket packages as prizes in August's Team Power Smart contest.

Before we get into 10 reasons we love the aquarium, here's an update on the aquarium's sustainability moves.

An aquarium gets greener

The facility has automated and centralized the start-up and shut-down of much of its audio-visual and computer equipment, which saves electricity, and a revitalization project has helped the Aquarium surpass its target to reduce overall electricity usage by 10 per cent.

In 2011, new recycling and composting efforts diverted 84 per cent of the Aquarium's waste from the landfill.

The Vancouver Aquarium is the first in the world to achieve both a LEED Gold and ISO 14001 environmental certification.

Ten reasons we love the Vancouver Aquarium

ONE thousand volunteers help run the Vancouver Aquarium.

TWO sea otters romp in the water at the Vancouver Aquarium: Elfin and Tanu are both orphans from Alaska.

THREE departments make up the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre: rehabilitation, release, rescue. For over 40 years, the Centre has been helping marine mammals like harbour seals, harbour porpoises, sea lions and sea otters. Shadow, a premature seal pup, is a recent arrival and will be a guest at the Centre for a few months before being returned to the waters near Haida Gwaii.

FOUR dimensions astound at the Aquarium's 4-D Experience theatre. You can see larger than life images, hear the sounds of the animals, smell the scents of the ocean and feel what it's like to be a marine creature.

FIVE species of salmon thrive in B.C. waters, a cool fact you can learn from the Aquafacts section of the aquarium website. Do you know all five? Sockeye, pink, chum, coho and chinook.

SIX members of an immediate family (2 adults and 4 children) can visit the Aquarium anytime and as often as they want with a year-long family pass. It costs only $138, compared to $27 for an adult one-day visit.

SEVEN African penguins live in a new exhibit, Penguin Point. Each has been named after a B.C. town: Tofino, Steveston, Lillooet, Sechelt, Nelson, Salt Spring, Hope.

EIGHT projects make up the Vancouver Aquarium revitalization project, which will integrate sustainable design and make for a more comfortable home for the 70,000 animals that live there.

NINE hundred thousand (900,000) visitors annually enjoy an adventure to the Vancouver Aquarium.

TEN per cent electricity savings. Compared to 2009, the aquarium now uses 10 per cent less electricity, thanks to Power Smart initiatives and a water pump retrofit.