The Pier Aquarium Announces Move to Madeira Beach
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
For Immediate Release
Contact: Emily Stehle, APR
Office: (727) 803-9799, ext. 207
Cell: (727) 688-7993
THE PIER AQUARIUM ANNOUNCES MOVE TO MADEIRA BEACH
John’s Pass Village to Be Home of Marine Discovery Center & Aquarium
MEDIA ADVISORY: Aquarium and Hubbard Property representatives will be available for interviews 10am-1pm today at John's Pass Village, 129th Avenue E and Gulf Boulevard, Madeira Beach. Please contact me at (727) 688-7993 to make arrangements.
St. Petersburg, FL (April 19, 2011) – The Pier Aquarium’s Board of Directors today announced a major relocation, expansion and re-branding of the 22-year-old aquarium in its new location at John’s Pass Village on Madeira Beach. The new 11,500 square foot facility, which more than triples the current exhibit space, is scheduled to open by the end of 2012.
In its new home, the attraction, now called the Marine Discovery Center & Aquarium (MDCA), will be designed to bring the public together with state-of-the-art marine research, innovation and technology that is being developed by the St. Petersburg Ocean Team and other marine related agencies and organizations. Four major new exhibits will be premiered - Science on a Sphere, Planet Water, Ocean Today and Climate Change – as well as the addition of larger live exhibits and an expanded Touch Tank.
"By marrying cutting-edge technology with live marine exhibits, MDCA will entertain and engage our visitors and create appreciation for our planet’s marine environment, above and under water,” said Board Chair and USF Professor of Marine Science, Mark Luther, Ph.D. "We will show visitors a world they cannot see anywhere else.”
MDCA will occupy the first and second floors in John’s Pass Village, adjacent to Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. and the new Hooters restaurants. "The Marine Discovery Center & Aquarium is a wonderful addition to John’s Pass Village, already a great shopping and dining destination,” said Patricia Hubbard, CEO of Hubbard Properties which owns the building. "We can now offer our visitors, and especially our local families, a full day of quality entertainment in one convenient waterfront location.”
"With direct access to both the bay and Gulf of Mexico, MDCA will serve as an expanded resource for teachers and students for tours, projects and special programs. Currently, more than 30,000 students participate in our education programs,” said MDCA President & CEO E. Howard Rutherford.
Rutherford said master planning and naming opportunities are in development. A $3 million capital campaign will be announced later this year.
link to Science on a Sphere: http://sos.noaa.gov/
link to Ocean Today kiosk: http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/news/weeklynews/oceanhall.html
This exhibit is displayed at the Smithsonian's Oceans Hall in Washington, D.C.
About The Pier Aquarium
Established in 1988, The Pier Aquarium is a private, non-profit aquarium and marine education center located in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida at The Pier. It showcases 17 tanks of live fish and other marine life and educational exhibits on the first and second floors and an outdoor marine laboratory and teaching unit, the Roy G. Harrell, Jr. Education Station, located on the Pier approach.
Its mission is to enhance the public’s understanding of the value and fragility of the local and global marine environment through research, education and personal experiences. The Pier Aquarium serves as the "public face” for the St. Petersburg Ocean Team’s research, innovation and technology. The Ocean Team is a consortium of 13 marine science and oceanographic institutions and environmental research agencies in the Southeast and one of the top such industry clusters in the nation.
More than 85,500 visitors, including 27,000 who participate in our scheduled educational programs, come to The Pier Aquarium annually to attend our Saturday programs, the annual Spa Beach Splash free marine discovery day and Summer Marine Adventures summer camp. Volunteers contribute more than 4,600 hours each year.