Mississippi Aquarium ‘sail’ebration kick off

Anticipation for the Mississippi Aquarium continues to grow with the kickoff celebration in Gulfport. This afternoon, News 25’s Jaylon Morris attended the event. Governor Phil Bryant and Gulfport Mayor Billy Hewes talked about the aquarium’s impact on the community.

The heat did not keep the public away from attending the groundbreaking of the Mississippi Aquarium. There’s been good progress with construction since the project kicked off. Aquarium CEO David Kimmel said, “We’ve gotten our foundations in. Our columns are starting to come out of the ground. Our underground piping is in. A lot of our areas are starting to be formed.”

Students from Gulfport High participated in the hoisting of the sails. Gulfport Mayor Billy Hewes and Governor Phil Bryant described what the tree sails of the aquarium’s logo represents for the entire state of Mississippi. Mayor Hewes said, “I’m grateful for the legacy that the sails are going to represent, sails carry us. They are progressive. They move us forward.”

Governor Bryant said, “I truly believe today the wind is in your sails. Not only for Gulfport, not only for the Gulf Coast, but the state of Mississippi. This is Mississippi’s aquarium.”

The Mississippi Aquarium’s mission revolves around three pillars: education, conservation, and community. Both Mayor Hewes and Governor Bryant agree this will be the core structure of the aquarium. Governor Bryant said, “We must make sure we provide the research that we will need to make sure we protect our land, water, and air.”

This nonprofit organization and its partnership with the University of Southern Mississippi will increase environmental education across the state. “We become a living laboratory for all of them. They can actually study animals up close and understand their behaviors,” said Kimmel.

The aquarium continues to receive funding. Opening day is scheduled for late 2019 or early 2020.

Categories: Featured, Harrison County, Local News, News

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