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South Pacific Aquarium Repair

Restoring our aging South Pacific Aquarium

Closing Nov. 15, Reopening in 2023

After 32 hardworking years, our South Pacific Aquarium needs some love. On Nov. 15, it will close for restoration and repair of critical animal-care structures, habitats and life-support systems.  Our goal is to extend the life of this aging, saltwater aquarium for another two decades and care for ocean animals into the future.

Please note: Our new Pacific Seas Aquarium – home to sea turtles, hammerhead sharks and eagle rays – will remain open during this time. (We have two aquariums.)      

Reopening in 2023

We are looking forward to welcoming you back when we reopen the South Pacific Aquarium in 2023. Many critical repairs will not be visible while others will be dramatically beautiful.

WHAT WILL BE VISIBLE

  • Exciting new South Pacific animal species
  • Immersive, South-Pacific-themed artwork at the entrance
  • Brand-new coral reef rockwork in the Outer Reef and Blue Hole habitats
  • Resealed and polished viewing windows
  • More natural light from new ceiling windows at the entrance
  • An improved Eye-to-Eye Shark Dive experience, with a new human-shark barrier that’s better for sharks and humans

WHAT WON’T BE VISIBLE

  • Critical roof repairs
  • Repairs to concrete cracks and spalling
  • Repairs to walkways and gates used by aquarists to care for sharks
  • New heat pump, ventilator, industrial dehumidifier and electrical updates
  • Improved critical life support systems for all animals

Critical Repairs

Extensive damage to the concrete in the South Pacific Aquarium, seen here, make up many of the critical repairs that will be addressed while the aquarium is temporarily closed.

Our South Pacific Aquarium is a beloved gem in our community, with many special ocean animals, and we’re proud to conserve it for the next generation of ocean-lovers. The restoration-and-repair project is funded through bonds approved by Tacoma voters in 2014 and the Zoo’s operating budget.