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Secrets Of The Sea To Arise In Madeira Beach, Pinellas

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
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