Harrison County

Gulfport to unveil aquarium design this week

The untold story of the Katrina Dolphins -- from Gulfport to Atlantis

Marine Life Oceanarium in Gulfport was home to 14 dolphins before Katrina made landfall. Six dolphins were relocated to swimming pools on higher ground before the water began to rise, but the remaining eight “Katrina dolphins” weathered the histor
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Marine Life Oceanarium in Gulfport was home to 14 dolphins before Katrina made landfall. Six dolphins were relocated to swimming pools on higher ground before the water began to rise, but the remaining eight “Katrina dolphins” weathered the histor

GULFPORT -- City leaders will unveil a design for the proposed Mississippi Aquarium at 10 a.m. Friday, with Gov. Phil Bryant planning to attend.

The city sent out the announcement Monday afternoon, saying the unveiling would be held on the grounds of the proposed aquarium overlooking U.S. 90 and the city harbor.

"The unveiling event will be an opportunity to see the look, feel, layout and timetable of the aquarium along with learning some of the species that will make up our collection," an email from city spokesman Chris Vignes said.

A team from PGAV Destinations of St. Louis, Missouri -- which designs aquariums, theme parks and other attractions -- is overseeing Gulfport's aquarium design, with assistance from Coast architectural firm Eley Guild Hardy. The Mississippi Aquarium will be located on 12 acres the city bought just east of downtown and north of the Gulfport harbor.

The city's urban-renewal agency, Gulfport Redevelopment Commission, owns the acreage and is overseeing the project. The city borrowed $14 million to assemble lots for the aquarium, while the state has committed $41.5 million to the project.

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