Can you believe it’s been a quarter of a century already? The Florida Aquarium (emphasis on “the”) has educated, entertained, and enlightened city of Tampa residents and visitors for decades. Now, as it prepares to celebrates its 25th Anniversary, the aquarium is ready to evolve.
On January 16, aquarium officials announced several new updates as part of a multi-million dollar capital investment campaign. The first of which includes a brand new interactive exhibit where the current ranger station is.
Enter Florida’s beautiful Shoreline
Another new addition, named The Shoreline, will replace the current Bays and Beaches area near the aquarium’s main entrance. It’s set to open in the fall of 2020 with several brand new habitats for the modern aspiring conservationist to enjoy.
Thanks to a new partnership with CIBC, an additional 6,000 students from Title I schools will be able to visit the The Florida Aquarium over the next three years.
Brand new lounge opening near the Mosaic event space
That partnership with CIBIC will also add a brand new lounge on the second floor of the aquarium with several new exhibitions and species. It will be located next to Mosaic Center event space. It should open to the public by the end of February 2020.
Art also has a home here. The Florida Aquarium announced the unveiling of a new exhibition called “Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.” The art by Angela Haseltine as specifically curated for the Florida Aquarium.
Rooftop to reopen in fall 2020
Get ready for more rooftop views in Tampa. In the fall of 2020 the Florida Aquarium will officially reopen its rooftop to the public. Over 1,100 new solar panels will be added through partnership with TECO and Hillsborough County.
Off site, The Florida Aquarium, in partnership with the FWC, will build 5 new Coral Arcs in Apollo Beach as part of pivotal coral restoration efforts. The greenhouses will be fully operational in late 2020.
Butterfly Garden to debut in 2021
Fast forward to March 2021 when the aquarium will open a temporary community known as the butterfly garden. The public will be able to enjoy this habitat free of charge.
Want to enjoy the amenities at a discount? Beginning on January 25 and 26, and on select weekends throughout the next 14 months, the Florida Aquarium will offer $19.95 admission to Florida residents in honor of the year the space was founded.
Aquarium joins the Bead-Free Bay movement
Officials also recently partnered with Mayor Jane Castor for a Bead Free Bay during Gasparilla 2020.