What was once the St. Petersburg Pier Aquarium will soon move about 10 miles west to a new location at John's Pass Village in Madeira Beach.
Rebranding and relocating itself to a new 12,500-square-foot facility at Gulf Boulevard and 129th Avenue in Madeira Beach
, the Pier Aquarium
announced on October 4th that it will become Secrets of the Sea, an attraction combining real time marine research with hands-on experiences including living marine exhibits. The Aquarium previously considered changing its name to the Marine Discovery Center and Aquarium (MDCA)
“We're putting on a new skin,” says Emily Stehle, PR and marketing director for the Aquarium. “We're going to be another type of facility. It's going to be bigger and have a different focus. The exhibits [at Secrets of the Sea] will directly relate to a specific piece of research.”
Including activities, aquariums, galleries and exhibits focusing on research concepts in a fun, explanatory fashion, the $3 million Secrets of the Sea project will introduce Sea Sleuths: A series of interactive “Mystery Stations,” debunking any false sea facts while making marine science accessible and understandable to visitors.
Since 1998, nearly 4 million people visited the Pier Aquarium in St. Pete.
While much of the technology for new exhibits is being developed by the St. Petersburg Ocean Team
-- a consortium of 14 marine science-related groups -- key contributors to the design and branding include design firms Hands On!
and MAM Exhibit Design
. Aqua Marketing Communications
is also playing a large role in the Aquarium's relocation, as well as a number of professionals and businesses throughout the area.
Secrets of the Sea is slated to open on Dec. 12, 2012.
Writer: Alexis Quinn Chamberlain
Source: Emily Stehle, The Pier Aquarium