The site of the proposed aquarium is along the Banana River, just west of A1A and the Exploration Tower at the port.
Canaveral Port Authority, the port will
contribute $3.5 million toward the design
work. The zoo is also asking the state to
chip in $1.5 million toward the project.
The site is along the Banana River, just
west of A1A and the Exploration Tower
at the port. A road extension into the
aquarium will be necessary on George
King Boulevard, which will be paid for by
The aquarium will pay rent to the port
on the property, starting at $250,000 and
going up 2.5% a year, plus additional
rent pegged to admission fees. Winsten
The aquarium lost about a year of
momentum due to the pandemic but
plans are moving full steam ahead.
According to Winsten, COVID-19 also
changed some of the design. Originally
the aquarium was to be housed in one
large building. The new design has 10
buildings and lots of walkable space for
Architectural renderings show a modern
design with spacious indoor exhibits. The
outdoor areas include water walkways
and even water play areas for youngsters.
According to an agreement with the
The outdoor areas will include water walkways and even water play areas for young and not so young.
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director, says the
aquarium will have
a local flavor based
on the Indian River
Lagoon and St.
expects that to cap out around $350,000
a year, based on estimated annual
attendance of 477,000 people. The lease
on the site runs for 31 years.
The aquarium will also donate $1 from
each ticket sale to the Indian River
Lagoon National Estuary Program,
which is actively involved in the efforts
to clean up the lagoon waters.
Looking far in advance, the zoo
is already soliciting ideas and
recommendations from local community
leaders on how to market the aquarium
to local residents and visitors. Some
of that was already started before
COVID-19. It is expected to pick back up
as the project moves along.