Photo courtesy of the Mississippi Aquarium
An official opening date has been announced for the Mississippi Aquarium.
Located in Gulfport, the 80,000 square foot aquarium will open on April 30, 2020, officials announced last Friday. The aquarium’s website has stated that the facility was projected to open either in late 2019 or early 2020, but President and CEO David Kimmel told WLOX that there’s still work to be done.
“We have a lot of work to do. Not only to finish construction, but we have our own work to do in there loading animals. So, lot of exciting times coming up. This is crunch time for us, but we’re used to it,” Kimmel said.
When it opens, the aquarium will house animals from the water, land and air, specifically including: alligators, river otters, river fish, dolphins, stingrays and shorebirds.
Sitting on 5.8 acres, the aquarium’s exhibits will be connected by landscaped walkways with plantings representing all seven physiographic regions of Mississippi.
Mississippi received $20.85 million through the most recent Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA) disbursement. As one of 17 projects that will receive funds as a result, $1.3 million will be granted to the aquarium to assist with the acquisition and transport of animals for the exhibits.