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What is our purpose?

As a world-class facility and destination for tourists and families, the Aquarium provides learning opportunities at all levels, interests, and ages. We strive to foster stewardship for the environment and life on Earth.

I wanted people to experience all the ecosystems: marine, freshwater, rain forests, deserts, temperate forests, and the arctic regions. I wanted them to see this amazing and wonderful miracle of life and connect to it, and understand that it is all part of one intricately connected global ecosystem, the Living Planet, and indeed to see that we humans are not separate from, but are a part of that ecosystem.

Brent Andersen

Where are we doing it?

Creating an Aquarium in the desert presents many challenges, but the public’s enthusiastic reception indicates that people have a need to connect with the natural world. Since opening its new facility in Draper in March 2014, the Aquarium has welcomed over six million visitors. Our Educational Outreach teams and Ambassador Animals visit every public elementary school in the state of Utah.
The Aquarium supports local conservation in Utah as well as across the world in the Philippines through the Coral Rescue and Pawikan Projects.

How do we do it?

The Aquarium is home to over 5,900 animals representing more than 600 species from ecosystems from around the planet including kelp forests, coral reefs, the deep ocean, Antarctic waters, Asian cloud forests, South American rain forests, and the waterways of our home state of Utah. In 2019 we received our accreditation from the Association of Zoos & Aquarium and is held to the highest standards in animal care. Our educational program, both on and off-site, provides learning opportunities and presentations to students of all ages, and is one of the largest in the nation, reaching every elementary school in the state of Utah.

What is our impact?

There is nothing more beautiful to me than hearing a child experience the magic of life, the wonder of exploration, and the joy of discovery. 

Brent Andersen

We provide living “classrooms” that immerse people in natural ecosystems, bridging the gaps between education, entertainment, and conservation to help people understand and appreciate their connection to the global system of life.

Since opening at the Draper location in 2014, the Aquarium has welcomed nearly 1 million guests each year. Our educational programs reach, on average, nearly 200,000 students every year through field trips, classroom visits, and virtual programs.

LLPA Story

Creating an aquarium in the middle of a desert in a landlocked state is no simple feat, but it is a fulfillment of one man’s childhood dream.

When Brent Andersen was five years old, his grandmother gifted him a Time Life hardcover book about the sea. He became fascinated by the ocean and dreamed of becoming a marine biologist. Brent worked through college as a biochemist and graduated with a degree in marine biology, but he faced a difficult choice in choosing a career path.

One day Brent received advice in the form of a question. That question was ‘what would you attempt to do if you knew you couldn’t fail?’ His answer was “to make an impact on the world by inspiring those around me to understand how we are all connected, that everything we do—every choice we make—has a lasting effect on our family, communities, and our planet. I would create a place that would inspire people who visited to Explore, Discover, and Learn about our Living Planet.”

In 1998 Brent moved back to Utah and formed the non-profit organization. He had a single van—the aqua van—that traveled to elementary schools and provided students the opportunity to see first-hand animals from the ocean and learn about that habitat. Since then the dream has grown from that single van to the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium, and it is not done yet. In July 2020, the Aquarium opened the Rio Tinto Kennecott Plaza featuring EECO: the Ecosystem Exploration Craft and Observatory. This is the first phase of the Science Learning Campus project which will serve the local community, become a destination for guests nationwide, and further our mission.

2023 Annual Report

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