Mississippi Aquarium pushes back opening

March 12, 2020

By WLOX Staff | March 12, 2020 at 10:20 AM CDT - Updated March 12 at 10:25 AM

GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - The Mississippi Aquarium will not be opening at the end of April like originally planned.

The $90 million aquarium was originally set to open April 30. However, aquarium officials announced Thursday the opening of the much-anticipated attraction will be pushed back. A date for the new opening of the aquarium has not yet been announced.

“We have made incredible progress, and look forward to welcoming our animals to their new home, as soon as possible," said Mississippi Aquarium President David Kimmel in an email. “While this will take a little longer than expected, the facility must be completely ready for both the animals and the public when we open the gates! Our team is working diligently to bring all the pieces of this multi-faceted project together perfectly. Each decision made is to ensure we are building safe habitats for our animals and creating experiences that will captivate our guests. It is our obligation to provide our city, Coastal Mississippi and the entire state with an unparalleled aquatic experience – one that remains focused on our three pillars: education, conservation and community.”

Memberships will not be affected by this change and will continue to go in effect on the day the aquarium opens, according to an email sent to members. Additionally, a special member event and tour for all current members will be held before the aquarium opens.

Mississippi Aquarium will contain one-million gallons of both saltwater and freshwater. The campus sits on 5.8 acres and will contain over 80,000 square feet of exhibits connected by landscaped walkways, giving guests both indoor and outdoor experiences.

When open, Mississippi Aquarium’s indoor and outdoor campus will tell the story of Mississippi’s aquatic resources from the Delta to the Coastline and the remarkable connection that ties all the state’s natural resources uniquely together. Prior to opening, the Aquarium will continue to focus on community events, education outreach and partnering with state and federal agencies to pioneer much-needed dolphin and marine research in the Gulf.

Mississippi Aquarium says it will continue to empower the community to take action for conservation by connecting them to the aquatic world and participate in conservation events, beach cleanups and recycling initiatives.

“As construction enters the final phase, our team will continue to bring the spirit of the Aquarium to the community through outreach programs. We have launched our Education Outreach Program and will soon visit schools and summer camps across Coastal Mississippi with a goal to engage students to actively participate in STEAM-focused curriculum,” said Kurt Allen, Senior Vice President of Mississippi Aquarium.

General admission tickets for the aquarium are already on sale starting at $29.95 for adults. Individual and family memberships are also available.

You can follow construction progress through weekly updates posted on the aquarium’s website every Friday.

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