Water Gallery's very own hometown of Long Beach, California is also the home of the world-class Aquarium of the Pacific, an amazing aquarium which is home to 11,000 animals. A $53 million expansion is currently in the works, which will add a new wing that architecturally will mimic the shape of a blue whale and will feature an "immersive movie theater," 6,000 square feet of space for additional exhibits, and more room for cultural events, lectures, and live shows such as concerts by the Long Beach Symphony! This new addition to the aquarium will expand its abilities to promote marine education and ocean conservation efforts in really exciting ways.
The Aquarium of the Pacific opened in 1998 to much fan fare, but over the next few years struggled with dwindling crowds and complaints of lousy food and exhibits that weren't as engaging as they could be. With new management and the acquisition of new exhibits such as a "Shark Lagoon," the aquarium has seen an upswing in attendance in recent years. And it stands to reason that this new wing will bring far more crowds and meaningful exhibits to this already impressive aquarium. Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia says of the new aquarium expansion, "This is a huge deal for the study and appreciation of marine life, as well as for the city as an attraction that will draw more tourists to nearby hotels, restaurants and retailers."
Of course we at Water Gallery are excited to hear about our hometown aquarium's expansion, not only for our own personal enjoyment and the revenue-boosting aspect for our city, but also for all of the ocean conservation and education efforts this aquarium does and will continue to do. We can't wait to see how this new project unfolds.