The Clearwater Marine Aquarium cut the ribbon Wednesday on its new dolphin habitat.
The Ruth and J.O. Stone Dolphin Complex is home to rescued bottlenose dolphins Winter, Hope, PJ, Nicholas and Hemingway. With five connected pools, the 1.5 million gallon complex triples CMA’s dolphin pool space.
The complex has nine viewing windows that provide underwater views of all five residents. It includes the 40-foot wide by 14-foot tall, and 12.5 inch thick, Kate Tiedemann and Ellen Cotton Main Dolphin Pool and Observation Window. (See photos, courtesy of Clearwater Marine Aquarium, below.)
The complex was developed to provide state of the art care for the aquarium’s resident dolphins. It is part of the $80 million expansion efforts currently underway at Clearwater Marine Aquarium, a nonprofit working marine rescue center. It is one of the top tourist attractions in Pinellas County.
When completed later this year, there were will 197,500 square feet of new guest space and 400 additional parking spots. The expansion also will double the aquarium’s education space and capacity to provide specialized care for residents and animals in rehab.