Dolphin Tale star will live on at Clearwater Marine Aquarium virtually, through onsite memorials, and help provide for its future
CLEARWATER, Fla. – On the 16th anniversary of her rescue, Clearwater Marine Aquarium proudly announces its plans to honor Winter the Dolphin’s legacy.
“When a loved one passes there is a very real fear that we will forget the sound of their voice or even the way they walked. For those of us who loved Winter, I’m proud to announce that Winter will live on in the physical world as well as the digital world so her signature tweet, demeanor, and personality can never be forgotten,” said President Dr. James “Buddy” Powell.
Virtual reality experiences at CMA
“We have the technology available to us where guests will be able to virtually swim with Winter and experience her personality as if she were still alive,” said Powell. Throughout her life, CMA captured 360-degree videos of Winter and countless 2-D images which will be produced into a virtual reality immersive experience that guests will be able to visit onsite in CMA’s Virtual Reality theater starting January 2022.
On-going Memorial at CMA
Winter inspired so many people across the globe. CMA encourages the community and fans of CMA to bring notes, cards, and share their stories about how she impacted their lives, or those of a loved one, to a memorial onsite beginning December 26 next to the old Winter Zone where she spent most of her life.
Winter’s Legacy Endowment
“Through a collaboration with the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay, this permanent endowment establishes a long-term sustainability strategy for the future of our organization,” said Powell. Beginning January 2022, gifts to Winter’s Endowment are invested, and a portion of the annual income for the investment is used to address any immediate needs. The remaining funds are reinvested to safeguard indefinite support of CMA.
A song made just for Winter the Dolphin. “In Our Hearts You’ll Be.” – Red Marker 28. This song is available on iTunes, Apple Music, and Spotify. A percentage of the song proceeds go toward supporting Clearwater Marine Aquarium’s mission. Lyrics by Stephen Page. Music by Rudiger. ©2021.
Returning her to the sea
After her necropsy, Winter’s body was cremated. In a final tribute to her, CMA staff will release her ashes into the Gulf of Mexico this January. “Returning Winter to her natural home is a poetic ending to her incredible 16-year journey and we couldn’t think of a better way to lay her spirit to rest,” said Powell.
Winter the Dolphin inspired millions across the world with her message of perseverance. Her story, as told in Dolphin Tale and Dolphin Tale 2 resulted in a $2 billion impact to Pinellas County from 2012 to 2015 when the rest of the country was coming out of a recession. In 2020, Clearwater Marine Aquarium opened an $80 million expansion including a brand new 1.5 million-gallon water dolphin habitat providing CMA with the ability to care for more rescued and non-releasable dolphins.
- About Clearwater Marine Aquarium
- Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit working marine rescue center dedicated to preserving our marine life and environment while inspiring the human spirit through leadership in education, research, rescue, rehabilitation and release. CMA is home to rescue dolphins, sea turtles, river otters, stingrays, nurse sharks and more. Winter, the dolphin’s story of survival after injury that caused her to lose her tail, has impacted millions of people around the world. A major motion picture, Dolphin Tale, highlighted her life story in 2011. The sequel, Dolphin Tale 2, was released in September 2014 and features the incredible story of Hope, a young resident dolphin of CMA. The mission and potential to change people’s lives differentiates Clearwater Marine Aquarium from any other aquarium in the world
We believe in preserving our environment while inspiring the human spirit through leadership in the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of marine life; environmental education; research; and conservation.
A Florida non-profit 501(c)(3) organization