GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) — A $93 million aquarium on Mississippi’s Gulf Coast is now set to open on April 30, 2020.
The opening date for the Mississippi Aquarium was announced at the recent Splash Bash fundraiser for the Gulfport attraction, The Sun Herald reported. Aquarium supporters are aiming to raise $10 million so the aquarium can open debt-free.
The aquarium has been designed as a campus with a river flowing through it, the Sun Herald has reported. Buildings will be designed for 160-mph winds to protect it from hurricanes.
Plans call for the aquarium to feature sharks, rays, otters, dolphins, bass and other fish. It will also include an aviary where visitors can feed birds from a cup, the newspaper reported.
The aquarium also will include a 360-degree tunnel where sharks, rays and other ocean life will swim around visitors. Like the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, scouts and other groups will be able to have sleep-overs inside the tunnel, the newspaper reported.
“The aquarium is going to be so much more than just the physical campus,” aquarium President and CEO David Kimmel told Al.com recently. “It’s the impact it will have on the coast community. The educational programs we’ll have.”
Kimmel came to the Mississippi Aquarium from the Georgia Aquarium, where Kimmel was the president and chief operating officer from 2010 to 2014.