In 1986, the North Carolina Aquarium Society was formed as a nonprofit (501(c)(3)) support organization to assist the Aquariums in the fulfillment of their mission. Through a Memorandum of Agreement with NCDNCR, the Society partners with the Aquariums to raise private funds to make them better — by supporting their priorities of new exhibits, animals, education programs and conservation initiatives. NC only provides 35% of the funds for the NC Aquariums. The Society generates cash from gift shop, membership, and concession revenues, and also focuses on grant acquisition and private fundraising. These efforts enable the Society to work closely with Aquarium leaders to plan new projects, exhibits and programs that otherwise might not be possible with limited state funds. In the next several years, there will be an extensive focus on the Aquarium at Fort Fisher. New exhibits (new otter exhibit planned for 2019) and expansion (early 2020s) will take place and local support and funds are needed.