Construction for the Coast’s first accredited aquarium remains on schedule for the end of 2019 to early 2020.
At the future site of the Mississippi Aquarium, the concrete has been laid for the most noticeable pieces of the aquarium: the three sails. The sails will tower high over the site, visible along the Coast. For the aquarium, the three sails each have a deeper meaning. Mississippi Aquarium CEO David Kimmel said, “Everything we do is based on the three principles that we build this aquarium on and that being education, conservation, and community.”
The Mississippi Aquarium is set to open at the end of this year or early next year. Construction continues to stay on schedule. According to Kimmel, due to the City of Gulfport, the BP Restore Act, and the Aquarium Foundation, the aquarium expects to open carrying no existing debt. “The aquarium’s revenues will be sufficient enough to cover all of our expenses. We’ll never be a burden on the taxpayers or on the city or on anybody else and that’s really important to us.”
The aquarium will feature 80,000 square feet of exhibits, containing over one million gallons of both salt and fresh water. Some parts of the aquarium will be different, like an immersive otter exhibit and 360 degree tunnel, giving you the opportunity to be right in the middle of everything.
Now, the aquarium won’t just feature indoor exhibits, but also outdoor ones, like a 400,000 gallon dolphin habitat. “It’s a little bit of a botanical garden feel with our aquarium feel, our freshwater exhibits, our river otters that we’re going to have, our coastal community gallery building, showcasing again the Gulf, our dolphins, our birds. It’s just going to be a cool place to be.”
The Mississippi Aquarium will bring over 400 new jobs to the Coast.