River Museum Plans $1.3 Million In Renovations
According to a report from the Telegraph Herald, big changes are coming to National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium in the form of a $1.3 million renovation project at its River Discovery Center. Updates will occur in the easternmost building on the facility’s Port of Dubuque campus with a project start date of September 6th.
Things like the water touch wall will be leaving the facility, with new exhibits for the area planned including; new animals, 12 new standalone aquariums, and a symbol of Dubuque's local connection to the Pacific Ocean. The nearby stingray touch tank will remain open for the majority of the renovation period, as well as the Gulf of Mexico aquarium at the easternmost end of that building.
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This new renovation and addition will provide housing for some existing animals and exhibits; it also announces the arrival of new additions to the aquarium family. Animals like the Pacific octopus will return. There will also be an American lobster display, a replicated kelp forest, and cold-water fish like the Garbaldi. This new area will also highlight the Florida Reef Tract; highlighting coral, fish, seahorses, and the invasive lion fish.
The museum received $800,000 of American Rescue Plan Act funds this summer for upgrades, a traveling exhibit, and expanded marketing. That funding and some additional private donations are supporting the renovation project. As of now the goal is a January completion date. External factors could cause a delay such as supply-chain issues, construction staffing, and other factors related to the facilities renovation and exhibit installation.