Port Canaveral and the Brevard Zoo have recently announced their proposal to build an aquarium in Port Canaveral, which will showcase the ecosystems and aquatic animals of Florida and around the world.
The Brevard Zoo has won the initial endorsement of port commissioners to build a Florida-inspired aquarium, which will most likely be in or nearby Port Canaveral’s Cove.
Port Canaveral’s staff worked with Brevard Zoo officials on planning the aquarium’s design, location and theme. Bringing the plans to life, Brevard Zoo Executive Director Keith Winsten sketched a series of pictures of the upcoming aquarium, which draws emphasis on the Atlantic Ocean, St. Johns River and the Indian River Lagoon.
The future aquarium in Port Canaveral plans to have interactive displays such as ray and tarpon feeding areas, a shrimping display with a “sampler platter”, displays of oyster mats and diamondback terrapins, a kid-friendly display on how the canal locks work and a replica of the St. Johns River fish camp, which could be the aquarium’s signature exhibit. It will be as if guests are walking among the animals in a seamlessly safe way.
The initial plan for the aquarium proposed an indoor space of 50,000 feet and an outdoor space of 25,000 feet on a 10-acre site. Five thousand of that indoor space would be dedicated to temporary traveling exhibits featuring sea horses, jellyfish or other aquatic animals.
Bringing the area’s space heritage into play, another exhibit could feature a large tank containing not only sea creatures, but a mock-up of the Orion space capsule floating at the surface. These unique exhibits would represent Brevard County and its wildlife.
The aquarium in Port Canaveral could potentially attract up to 600,000 visitors a year, including tourists, cruise ship passengers and local residents. There’s no set timeline for the aquarium’s construction but the idea has been in the works for the last two years. This aquarium would be one-of-a-kind and a huge tourist destination for the Cove and the Space Coast.