Tennessee Aquarium announces 4.5 million dollars expansion, an exciting news for the largest conservation and research institution in the South U.S.
The expansion plans targets the creation of a new Tennessee Aquarium Freshwater Conservation Institute, housed by the Baylor School lands, just in close vicinity to the Baylor football stadium.
The impressive 14,000 square feet facility, located on the riverfront aims to become a permanent base for researchers, students and scientists working on conservation matters. At the same time, the Tennessee Aquarium Freshwater Conservation Institute will once more reassert that Chattanooga is the capital for conservation science in the South U.S.
The Tennessee Aquarium is a long standing institution playing a vital role in the freshwater conservation science. Established in 1996, it has brought numerous successful projects for some of the most biodiverse areas around the globe. Establishing a research and exhibition center has long been in the cards. However, scrambling for funding, will and power has hampered the aquarium’s efforts. Nonetheless, here it is: Tennessee Aquarium announced 4.5 million dollars expansion.
Charlie Arant, the president of the Tennessee Aquarium has stated for the Times Free Press:
“We’ve been putting this together so we can truly take this conservation institute to the next level. And I mean dramatically improve what we’re able to do, how we’re able to do it, and the kind of leadership and collaboration we are able to provide”.
The efforts are highly appreciated. Freshwater ecosystems, some of the most biodiverse the globe, are also in great danger. The likelihood of freshwater animals going extinct is two to five times higher that with any other marine or terrestrial wildlife.
Established in 1996, the Tennessee Aquarium is now building the Tennessee Aquarium Freshwater Conservation Institute on land rented from Baylor. Without the participation of the institution, efforts would have been hampered once more.
However, with the new 14,000 square feet facility, a complex conservation panorama is set in place. The primary purpose is advancing scientific research on freshwater conservation. In addition, the educational component of the program will see students from all schools in the area being able to visit and learn. Moreover, the exhibition component will see the new Tennessee Aquarium facility transformed in a unique display center.
Construction work will begin next month, while the Tennessee Aquarium Freshwater Conservation Institute is expected to open its doors within a one-year period.
Photo Credits: Flickr