City leaders host groundbreaking expansion for Clearwater Marine Aquarium

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CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) – The Clearwater Marine Aquarium is about to add more space for both the wildlife and guests.

City officials held a groundbreaking ceremony on the property Monday morning. New buildings will be dedicated for guest education and wildlife habitat.

The expansion will feature a 400-space parking garage, two four-story buildings for education and guest space, a large 1.5 million gallon rescued dolphin habitat, which includes five pools.

The expansion includes substantially more space for the aquarium’s rescued animals, underwater viewing and approximately 100,000 square feet of new guest space. Officials want to also include a pelican habitat and make part of the adjacent waterway, a natural habitat for CMA’s rescued marine life.

The facility will remain open during all phases of the expansion, with no close dates and all guest activities open at all times.

The estimated cost of the project is $50 million. The areas will be built in phases.

Officials hope to be done with the complete expansion within 30 months.

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