The Texas State Aquarium received a very large item last month as it continues construction on the Caribbean Journey expansion scheduled to open in spring of 2017. The item, a curved acrylic panel, was lowered into place within the new exhibit space. However, this is no ordinary window.
The panel measures an immense 759 square feet and weighs in at 42,000 pounds. Eight acrylic panels were chemically bonded to create one continuous piece which is also 9 inches thick. This panel will allow unobstructed views into the new H-E-B Caribbean Shark exhibit. This $55 Million expansion will cover a 70,000 square foot space. The aquarium said in a statement,
“This is the first of four acrylic components that will be installed over the next several days. In addition to the main viewing window, three demi-tunnel sections that measure a combined 118 feet in length will be placed along the back perimeter of the 400,000 gallon habitat. These panels will provide amazing viewing opportunities for our guests, and the configuration of the panels is unique among major aquaria. We know that our guests are fascinated by sharks; our goal with this exhibition is to turn that fascination into action and help support shark conservation measures that will keep populations of these apex predators healthy.”
The shark exhibit will be the impressive centerpiece in the new exhibit, showcasing over a dozen large sharks and hundreds of marine fish.
As an accredited member of the AZA and WAZA, Texas State Aquarium continues to grow and offer amazing opportunities to connect guests with nature through educational exhibits and living displays.