US$130m Sarasota aquarium project seeks funding

A fundraising campaign has been launched following the announcement of plans to build a US$130m (€106m, £93.2m aquarium development in Sarasota, Florida.

Called the Mote Science Education Aquarium, Massachusetts-based architecture firm CambridgeSeven are behind the plans, which will cover 110,000sq ft (10,000sq m) – more than doubling the size of the existing Mote Aquarium.

In addition to aquatic displays across 3.8 million litres of water, the aquarium will offer interactive teaching labs, onsite diving programmes, scientific demonstrations a range of interactive technologies.

“The rebirth of Mote Aquarium on the mainland will not only help us grow our informal science education and outreach programs and develop a more ocean-literate society; equally important, it will lead to the next step in the evolution of our City Island campus into an enhanced International Marine Science, Technology and Innovation Park,” said Dr Michael Crosby, Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium’s president and CEO.

“This spectacular new facility and campus will double the number of visitors whose lives are enriched by marine science each year, and providing no-cost opportunities for all schools to utilise specialised teaching labs to ensure that every child has the opportunity for hands-on marine science and technology experiences.”

The capital campaign, called ‘Oceans for All: Improving Access to Marine Science & Technology’, was launched on 8 February, with more than 20 per cent of the facility's costs already sourced. Expected to draw more than 700,000 visitors a year, the aquarium is scheduled to break ground in 2019, with an opening date of 2020. It has been estimated that it will have an annual economic impact of more than US$28m (€22.8m, £22m) for the state of Florida.

fundraising campaign  Sarasota  Florida  Mote Science Education Aquarium  CambridgeSeven  Michael Crosby  Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium 
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