CMA will welcome new wildlife, create habitats, launch global conservation initiatives
CLEARWATER, FL (Feb. 6, 2023) –Today, Clearwater Marine Aquarium announced a multi-year plan of expansion that will forge a path toward a future where the harmony between humanity and the oceans is not just a vision, but a reality. Titled ‘Rising Tides: Safeguarding Marine Life for the Future,’ the comprehensive forward-looking campaign encompasses strategies to welcome new wildlife, create habitats, and launch global conservation efforts.
Inspired by the adage that a rising tide lifts all boats, the ‘Rising Tides’ comprehensive campaign for CMA embodies collective efforts to elevate conservation, education, guest experience and community engagement initiatives, symbolizing hope, momentum, and shared responsibility in protecting marine life for future generations.
“As we commence on this transformative expansion journey, our focus remains steadfast for the animals and for the future. This expansion embodies our unwavering commitment to providing the best possible environment for our marine residents, while also ensuring that future generations can continue to benefit from the wonders of marine conservation,” said Joe Handy, chief executive officer. “Through our leadership in conservation, we will inspire others to join us in safeguarding our precious oceans for generations to come.”
The campaign is a call to action—a call to join hands and resources in support of this shared mission. With generous support, CMA will raise the $32 million over the next six years, needed to make our vision a reality.
Leaders in Conservation
Known as first responders of the marine world, the aquarium’s capacity will be increased to continue to answer the call of marine animals in need. Through the organization’s dedication to the preservation of wildlife both locally and internationally, groundbreaking research and unwavering conservation efforts, CMA emerges as a formidable force, championing the cause of our planet’s marine life.
CMA will welcome many new marine ambassadors, including manatees, sea lions, sharks, penguins, albino alligators and additional dolphins. Each of these remarkable creatures carries its own compelling conservation narrative. By expanding the variety of animals within its care, and creating new habitats, CMA not only enriches the visitor experience but also provides a platform to educate future generations about marine life, conservation, and groundbreaking research specific to each species.
Manatee Rehab Center Opens this Spring
The first of these additions is the opening of the Manatee Rehabilitation Center slated to open this spring. CMA stands as a beacon of excellence in manatee research and rescue operations, pioneering breakthroughs and saving lives. With the addition of the new center, they embark on a monumental journey as the new center will allow CMA to accept the influx of manatees in need of critical care.
Internationally, CMA will be breaking ground this summer on a Belize Marine Rescue and Educational Center, a Clearwater Marine Aquarium Facility. CMA Research Institute (CMARI) has rescued and released manatees for 20 years in Belize, which has the highest known density of Antillean manatees in the world.
Champions of Marine Life Through Education
CMA is proud to house a fully functioning animal hospital onsite, providing immediate and essential care for animals facing life-threatening situations. CMA is embarking on a significant renovation and expansion of the animal hospital with visibility to guests who can witness life-saving care in real time.
The expansion project will include the addition of veterinary experts and team members, further enhancing the capacity to provide exemplary care to their marine patients. Moreover, the revamped facility will serve as a hub for valuable partnerships with universities and external experts, facilitating collaborative research endeavors and fostering the development of innovative marine care solutions.
Located in one of the nation’s most visited beaches, CMA is the heartbeat of a top tourist destination. The expansion will have a profound impact of spreading the message of conservation to the millions of visitors who frequent Clearwater Beach. By inspiring visitors to take action and protect our oceans, the aquarium creates a ripple effect of positive change that extends far beyond its shores. This expansion is not only an investment in marine life but also in the economic growth of the city, providing another compelling reason for visitors to explore and contribute to the thriving local economy.
“The exciting new plans to expand Clearwater Marine Aquarium and bring in new animals and new exhibits is going to reinvigorate our citizens to take a good look at the new aquarium. This place is such an asset for our residents and visitors on Clearwater Beach. It’s an exciting time ahead for all,” said Brian Aungst, Sr., Mayor of the City of Clearwater
New Immersive Guest Experiences
Along with new habitats, CMA will add exciting attractions within the aquarium to captivate guests of all ages. Among these enhancements are a state-of-the-art theater, an engaging interactive water area, and more. At CMA, learning is both fun and immersive, and the aquarium is dedicated to delivering an unforgettable educational experience for visitors of all backgrounds and interests.
To learn more about Clearwater Marine Aquarium, visit www.cmaquarium.org
Media Contact: Marsha Strickhouser | mstrickhouser@CMAquarium.org | (727) 242-0770
- About Clearwater Marine Aquarium
- Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit working marine rescue center dedicated to inspiring the human spirit through leadership in education, research, rescue, rehabilitation and release. With a mission to preserve the environment and its marine life, CMA is home to rescued dolphins, sea turtles, river otters, stingrays, a nurse shark and more. Through Clearwater Marine Aquarium Research Institute, CMA conducts important global research focused on protecting manatees, North Atlantic right whales and sea turtles. Major motion picture Dolphin Tale (2011) and its sequel Dolphin Tale 2 (2014) features the true stories of rescued resident dolphins Winter and Hope, inspiring millions around the world. 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