North Carolina Aquarium welcomes new Director

PINE KNOLL SHORES, NC March 18, 2015 – The North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores welcomes Hap Fatzinger as its new Director. He joined the Pine Knoll Shores staff earlier this month, and comes to Pine Knoll Shores after 18 years with the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher.

North Carolina Aquarium - Pine Knoll Shores Director Hap Fatzinger

Director Hap Fatzinger

“I’m honored to be serving as Director for the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores and beginning this chapter of my career along the Crystal Coast,” he said. “The Aquarium is such an amazing asset for the citizens of North Carolina. I look forward to working alongside the staff and community on creating an engaging visitor experience, and increasing our impact on conservation education.”

Beginning as a volunteer at Fort Fisher in 1996, he soon became a temporary employee and then joined the staff full-time.  For the past 14 years, Fatzinger held the title of Aquarium Curator, responsible for the management of 17 staff members and nearly 4000 aquarium animals.  During his tenure, he also managed and collaborated on the design and construction of major exhibits and projects.

Raised in Colorado but with strong ties to the Pacific Ocean, he traveled west to study in San Diego. He later moved to St. Thomas, and there earned a Bachelor of Science in marine biology from the University of the Virgin Islands.

The state Aquariums at Pine Knoll Shores and at Fort Fisher are under the North Carolina Aquariums Division, which also operates the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island and Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head.


The North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores is five miles west of Atlantic Beach at 1 Roosevelt Blvd., Pine Knoll Shores, NC 28512. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is $10.95 for ages 13-61; $9.95 for ages 62 and up and military; $8.95 for ages 3-12; no charge for ages 2 and under and North Carolina Aquarium Society members. State taxes are additional to admission fees. For more information, see or call 252-247-4003.