City pulls out all stops to lure aquarium complex
Ocean Expo Learning Center will be built in D’Iberville, but city officials at Wednesday’s announcement were quick to say the entire Gulf Coast will benefit from this family attraction.
When the $75 million complex is complete, it will feature marine mammal shows, aquarium exhibits and interactive adventures.
It will be unlike other aquariums, said Moby Solangi, president of the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies, which will build and operate the center. Visitors will swim in the winding coastal shallows with fish and turtles. They will pet a dolphin, will kiss a sea lion and will walk among free-flying birds and butterflies.
The central exhibits will be indoors for year-round use, and outdoors will be gardens, waterfalls and perhaps flamingos.
“We’re gong to just make education fun,” Solangi said.
Also planned are a rainforest restaurant, picnic areas, a gift shop and harbor tours.