Here are some things people usually want to know about the new Aquarium experience.
- Is the Aquarium remaining open?
- Are you tearing down the Giant Ocean Tank?
- Where are the animals in the Giant Ocean Tank going to go?
- Where are the penguins going to go when the Giant Ocean Tank animals are in their exhibit?
- What will be new and different in the exhibit?
- Will there be anything else new?
- What is the project timeline?
- Will there be any special programs offered during the construction period?
- What parts of the Aquarium will not be affected?
Is the Aquarium remaining open?
Yes! The Aquarium plans to remain open throughout construction. This will provide visitors with a unique opportunity to view the progress of this complex and exciting project. Work is mostly happening at night, so it won’t affect regular visiting hours.
Are you tearing down the Giant Ocean Tank?
No, the physical structure is remaining in place. The contents of the tank, windows and the top of the tank are being completely rebuilt, though. Learn more about scope and features.
Where are the animals in the Giant Ocean Tank going to go?
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 sharks and 800 other residents of the Giant Ocean Tank will be moved into the penguin pool!
Where are the penguins?
Most of the penguins are in an off-site facility during this time, except for the little blue penguins, which will are in their special temporary exhibit with even closer viewing access. 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 View Terrace, are open as usual, completely unaffected by the project.
What will be new and different in the exhibit?
In some ways, it will be an entirely new experience. The iconic Giant Ocean Tank will be getting a top-to-bottom, 21st-century transformation, including new windows that will provide crystal-clear viewing opportunities; a vibrant, revitalized coral reef; and the expansion of exhibit spaces at the top of the tank. Once work is completed, we’ll be adding many new species to the Giant Ocean Tank, which is already considered one of the most complex and sophisticated aquatic exhibits in the world.
Will there be anything else new?
Yes! We’re building a reflective ceiling dome that will help create a greater underwater ambience throughout the building, constructing a ramp to the top of the central tank that gives wheelchairs and strollers access for the first time, and making many more changes throughout the building.
What is the project timeline?
The reconstruction of the Giant Ocean Tank will continue through early summer 2013. We expect to have all animals back in their revitalized home in July 2013.
Will there be any special programs offered during the construction period?
Yes! The Aquarium will launch a series of special programs to share the construction progress with our members and supporters. Information about these programs will be distributed to members using the monthly member e-newsletter, SeaMail. Members who don't receive SeaMail can sign up for it. Non-members can keep up to date with the latest news by signing up for Seabits, the monthly non-member e-newsletter.
What parts of the Aquarium will not be affected?
The majority of our exhibits will not be affected by the renovation. Two of the Aquarium’s newest additions, The Trust Family Foundation Shark and Ray Touch Tank and the New Balance Foundation Marine Mammal Center, will be open as usual with no changes at all. Both exhibits offer great ways to get close to some of your favorite animals while the rest of the Aquarium is being revitalized.