Costumes for a Cause: Jenkinson’s Aquarium & SANCCOB

Costumes for a Cause: Jenkinson’s Aquarium & SANCCOB

Matt Shanley

Wholesale Halloween Costumes recognizes more than just Halloween. At WHC, we pride ourselves on using the brand name to spread awareness to those in need via our Costumes for a Cause program. Since June is National Aquarium Month, the company has decided to partner with Jenkinson’s Aquarium in Point Pleasant, NJ, and donate to SANCCOB: The Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds.

Wholesale Halloween Costumes visited Jenkinson’s Aquarium to learn more about its history, exhibits and involvement with SANCCOB.

rsz_1kaylaWhen you visit the Jersey Shore, you’re inclined to think about the beach, the food, the games… And probably Snooki. But if you go a little further down the Point Pleasant boardwalk, you’ll find a gem that many locals have cherished over the course of the last 24 years: Jenkinson’s Aquarium.

According to the aquarium program, it’s dedicated to educating the public on all aspects of marine life and conservation, and each exhibit is designed to promote awareness of the animals, their habitats and conservation. But if you ask anyone who has visited, its allure and evolution have created more memories than can be contained by a shark tank.

“When we first started, we had very few species in most of the tanks,” said Cindy Claus, Aquarium Director. “Now, we’re up to over 1,800 animals, and, not only have we increased the number of species, but our animals have gotten larger and we’ve renovated many of our exhibits. “The penguins exhibit is new, the harbor seal exhibit is brand new and we’re working on re-doing many of the other exhibits as well.”

The harbor seal exhibit, which opened to the public on June 12, was exciting for aquarium staff and guests, alike, as it houses Lucille, who has been housed at Jenkinson’s since its inception in 1991. Described as “stubborn” by Claus, Lucille was rescued from the Point Pleasant Canal, and seemed much more lively and responsive in her new habitat.


“Well, our old seal exhibit was very sterile. It was all tile, and we had eventually put a mural up there, but it really didn’t give much in terms of where the seals are naturally from,” said Claus. “The harbor seals are more of a New England-coast type of animal. So, what we’ve done is we’ve increased the whole size of the exhibit, we’ve given them a shallow area where they can also spend some time swimming in, and now, they have a lot more chances to be interactive.”

In terms of interaction, no exhibit will give you more gratification than the African Penguins, who you’ll find just before you climb the stairs. They’re smart, playful and seem to love the children who, without hesitation, flock to their windows.

It’s not always easy for African Penguins, though, as they’re the main reason that WHC finds it so important to donate to SANCCOB. Over the course of the last two-and-a-half decades, they’ve found their way onto the endangered species list, as only 1,700 breeding pair remain in the wild.


“SANCCOB is dedicated to taking care of sea birds, shore birds, specifically penguins, that are dealing with all kinds of environmental issues, mostly loss of habitat, loss of fishing and where they’re finding their food,” said Claus.

“Every December, there are issues for many penguins, as they leave their young to go fishing, and it’s become harder and harder for them to find their own food. They have to travel farther from their young, they’re gone for days, they’re leaving their young, and they’re either getting eaten by other animals, or they’re just not able to function and not making it at all. We’ve tried to help them as much as possible, and with the adoptions that we have here, part of that money goes to SANCCOB, too.”

Donating to SANCCOB helps the African Penguins at Jenkinson’s Aquarium and the children that love to come to see them. For more information on donating, check out the SANCCOB website. For more information on Jenkinson’s Aquarium, their new exhibits and their summer camps, check out their website, too.