PINE KNOLL SHORES, N.C. (WNCT) – Employees at N.C. Aquarium of Pine Knoll Shores has been doing a lot more than taking care of animals at the center during this pandemic.

For the past couple of weeks, employees have been cleaning and sorting 100 gallons of coins from the 30-foot tall Smoky Mountain waterfall inside the facility.

It is turned off as a cost-saving measure after state guidelines forced them to close to the public because of the coronavirus.

According to a Facebook post, the staff went through almost 15 years worth of coins from the waterfall. A portion of the money went to an automated coin counter at a local bank. The post continued to mention it took staff about four hours to get through nine crates of coins.

Friday afternoon, workers counted $8,563.71 in coins. Staff spent more than 10 hours sending change through a bank’s coin counter.

The aquarium’s director, Liz Baird says the waterfall wasn’t intended to be a wishing well.

“It took more than a day to scoop all these buckets of wet coins out of the bottom and I was standing in several inches of coins when I was down there. It was remarkable,” said Baird.

The money will go towards animal care.

People on Facebook got in on the fun as well. When they first started cleaning out the waterfall, employees asked Facebook users how much was in the waterfall. Amy Campbell guessed $8,562, CLOSE ENOUGH!