Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Shedd Aquarium Embarks on $500 Million Renovation Called the "Centennial Commitment"

The Shedd Aquarium is awesome and it looks like it's going to be getting even better (via Chicago Tribune):

The Shedd Aquarium houses a remarkable creature called an archerfish that spits water 3 feet into the air to knock insects off trees into the water for dinner.

Right now, the archerfish swims in an aquarium with a label displaying its name. That’s it.

But soon, visitors will be able to see the fish actually do its thing — spitting at a tree to dislodge crickets for a meal.

Interactive experiences like this inspire the public to care more about the fish and its habitat, according to Bridget Coughlin, president and CEO of the Shedd Aquarium.

This connection between humans experiencing wild animals and being inspired to conserve is the driving force behind the aquarium’s new $500 million project, an eight-year vision called the Centennial Commitment.

Connecting people to nature will involve creating new aquarium galleries along with immersive experiences and programs.

For example, the north gallery, which houses rivers, islands and lakes exhibits, will be renovated into a Caribbean coral reef habitat within a 40-foot glass tunnel. Visitors will feel as if they are part of the reef with sharks, rays and colorful fish.

Renovation and re-imagination of the aquarium galleries and educational facilities will cost roughly half of the $500 million and take four years to complete. Renovations are expected to be finished in 2026, ahead of the organization’s 100th anniversary in 2030.

Here is a rendering of one of the projects - "a Caribbean coral reef habitat that will give guests different perspectives of sharks and rays within the diverse ecosystem":


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