The Florida Aquarium has started construction on an expansion of the coral care complex at its conservation campus in Apollo Beach.
Slated to open in May 2023, the new facility will expand the aquarium's work in coral research, reproduction and restoration. Currently, the complex has three greenhouses and a coral spawning laboratory.
“Here, we will be expanding our coral reproduction work and rearing thousands more coral offspring to be placed on the reef in the effort to restore threatened populations,” Keri O’Neil, the Florida Aquarium’s senior scientist and coral conservation program manager, says in a press release.
The new facility is part of an ongoing effort by the Florida Aquarium to expand its role as a conservation aquarium at the Apollo Beach campus and the main aquarium building in Tampa's Channel District.
The 4,200-square-foot facility will provide additional space beyond the Aquarium’s existing coral greenhouses and coral spawning laboratories. Following construction, a total of 9,000 square feet of space will be dedicated to preserving, breeding and rearing corals that are rapidly declining along Florida’s Coral Reef.
The Aquarium's most recent coral restoration project involved the reproduction of elkhorn coral by marine biologists using aquarium technology in a laboratory setting.
For more information go to Florida Aquarium.