While travel was on hold during Covid-19 quarantine, the Clearwater (Fl.) Marine Aquarium worked on a major expansion of the facility and the renovation of a new eco-friendly dolphin and marine life themed hotel featuring the dolphin made famous by the Dolphin Tale movies – Winter. The expansion of the aquarium will allow space for the care of more rescued marine life. After 48 years of operation, CMA has expanded its rehabilitation center with a new habitat tripling their previous pool space.
Winter the Dolphin is getting a bigger and better home to welcome new rescue friends to CMA.
The new habitat allows CMA to care for twice as many rescued animals, including new species, with more than 60,000 square feet of new space. The renovation also includes the addition of a 40-foot wide, 14.5-foot tall viewing window where guests can observe the dolphins in their new habitat.
Clearwater Marine Aquarium focuses on the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of marine life. The ultimate goal of CMA is to return their rescues to the wild. However, some animals, such as Winter the Dolphin, are deemed un-releasable because of severe injuries that would limit their abilities to function on their own.
Families will be able to visit Winter and her friends in their new home starting in July. CMA implements significant safety precautions to protect guests, the staff, and animals to ensure social distancing while providing educational fun. Guests are required to make advanced reservations online to limit capacity.
Page Development Group and Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA) are developing Clearwater Beach’s newest family-and-eco-friendly hotel – Winter the Dolphin’s Beach Club. With a focus on sustainability and conservation, much of the hotel’s existing materials were repurposed. Additionally, the hotel is CMA-certified with measures to protect marine life, including sea turtle safe lighting, the elimination of single-use plastics, and special window treatments to reduce energy use while minimizing the harmful effects of sun glare off of the Gulf.
Photo Credits: Clearwater Marine Aquarium