News from the New England Aquarium:
I have some exciting news to share with you! A new Aquarium experience is coming to Central Wharf.
This September the Aquarium will launch a $15 million revitalization program, starting with a complete renovation of our spectacular four-story Caribbean coral reef exhibit—the Giant Ocean Tank. The Giant Ocean Tank, perhaps the most well-known of all of our exhibits, will be getting a top-to-bottom, 21st-century transformation, including new windows, a redesigned reef, a new education center at the top of the tank, and, of course, many new species of fish. The entire project will be completed in late June 2013.
I’m happy to report that the Aquarium will remain open during the construction period. The renovation work will happen at night, so it won’t affect regular visiting hours, but you will notice a difference when you stop by this fall. You’ll be seeing some of the Aquarium’s most popular animals from a whole new angle. Myrtle the 560-pound green sea turtle, the large sharks and 800 other residents of the Giant Ocean Tank will be moved into the penguin pool! Most of our penguins will be staying at our Animal Care Center in Quincy during construction, but there is a possibility that some will remain on display in our main building. The majority of our other exhibits, including the new shark and ray touch tank and the fur seal and sea lion exhibit on the Harbor Terrace, will be open as usual, completely unaffected by the project.
In addition, this revitalization program will include an innovative new exhibit on the first level called the Blue Planet Action Center. The new space will highlight major challenges facing the oceans and connect the Aquarium’s conservation and research work around the globe to your experience here on Central Wharf.
All of these projects are part of the $42 million Mission Blue capital campaign that began in 2007. Previous stages of this plan included opening the New Balance Foundation Marine Mammal Center in 2009 and opening our new off-site Animal Care Center and home of our marine animal rescue and rehabilitation center in 2010. Just last year we completed a state of the art research lab and opened an immensely popular new exhibit, The Trust Family Foundation Shark and Ray Touch Tank. This campaign has also funded a number of new conservation, research and education initiatives that are at the core of Aquarium’s mission to protect the blue planet.
In the meantime, I encourage you to come to the Aquarium to see all the changes we’ve made—and will make—in the months ahead.
President and CEO