Brevard Zoo Updates Aquarium and Conservation Center Project

PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. — The Brevard Zoo still plans to break ground on its new Aquarium and Conservation Center next September, at Port Canaveral.  


Zoo officials provided an update to port commissioners Wednesday.  

The Brevard Zoo has identified ways to reduce the amount of water used for the project.  But, the marine life waste water system is still under design.  

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The Brevard Zoo’s Executive Director, Keith Winsten, says the zoo has reached the $70,000,000 mark in its $100,000,000 fundraising campaign.  

The aquarium campus includes: the sea turtle care complex, a critical care center for manatees, a coastal conservation hub, and more.

The zoo has a development agreement with the port for a fourteen-acre property on the Banana River.  But, there’s more work to do before construction can begin.

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“We have a series of steps we have to go through and some of those haven’t been met yet,” Winsten said. “So our hope is we can move through them rapidly and still meet our original timeline.”

There was also an update on the scope of the project, which already included the Sea Turtle Care Complex.

“We’ve added some elements,” Winsten said. “So the needs for manatees became front and center. We’ve added a critical care center for Manatees. We also have the Dr. Duane De Freese Coastal Conservation Hub. "

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Winsten says they’ve also added a third story to be used by schools and universities, or for hosting community events.

There’s also a plan for a manatee, gator and otter complex with a walkthrough with underwater viewing. The Brevard Zoo estimates the aquarium could see a half-million visitors each year.

Brevard Zoo officials say they’re working towards a Sept. 2024 groundbreaking. They hope to complete the project by 2027.

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