We are focused on the triple bottom line as we grow into the next 25 years
– Roger Germann
The Florida Aquarium in Tampa Bay, US, has announced a series of projects and initiatives, many of which are to open in 2020, in recognition of its 25th anniversary celebrations.
Initiatives will seek to grow its animal collection, create new guest experiences, expand the aquarium's conservation efforts, provide learning opportunities to more schoolchildren, and further integrate the organisation into the community.
To achieve these aims, the aquarium will invest US$5.6m (€5m, £4.3m) this year, as part of a larger US$14m (€12.6m, £10.7m) capital investment campaign.
Opening this year will be the CIBC Aquatic Lounge, a state-of-the-art exhibit showcasing new animals at the aquarium, which comes about through a new multi-year partnership with CIBC Bank USA.
Other attractions to open in 2020 are: travelling art exhibition Washed Ashore ‒ Art to Save the Sea, featuring sculptures made entirely of plastic debris collected from beaches; an improved Wetlands Trail Exhibit, including new interactive aspects, modernised theming and a new entry marquee; improvements to the Bays & Beaches Gallery, which will be renamed "Shorelines", and give new opportunities to learn and engage with animals; and the TECO Rooftop Pavilion & Solar Exhibit, with over 1,100 solar panels.
Further ahead, planned initiatives include an expansion of the aquarium's coral conservation facilities, with five new greenhouses (adding to the two existing) due to be brought online by the end of 2021, and the opening of a temporary community butterfly garden in March 2021, as a gesture of gratitude towards the Tampa Bay community for its support over the past 25 years.
There will also be special promotions, impromptu giveaways, nighttime festivities for adults and a commemorative 25th anniversary beer.
"The investment we are making in our Aquarium is an investment in Tampa Bay as a cultural attraction, an economic driver, a conservation leader, a pillar of the community, and a fun place to visit. We are focused on the triple bottom line as we grow into the next 25 years," said Roger Germann, president and CEO of The Florida Aquarium.