Why Build an Aquarium in Fresno?

Arthur Dyson's design for the Fresno Aquarium (Phase One)

Our Aquarium will be a leader in superior animal care and a convenient alternative aquatic venue for us in Fresno and folks further to the north and south in the San Joaquin Valley who are unable to make the 5+ hour round trip to a coastal Aquarium AND….

    • Fresno, California has a Great and Unique Water Story to Tell!

Our region's rich fossil record tells us that Fresno and much of what is now the central and southern San Joaquin Valley was once a great inland sea with two connections to the Pacific Ocean extending to Santa Cruz in the north and to Santa Barbara in the south.

This oceanic history presents a unique educational opportunity and is why are planning to create exhibits featuring modern descendants of many of the sub-tropical fish and other marine species that once lived here.

Fortunately, many inland Aquariums have developed methods to synthetically create seawater so the Fresno Aquarium's distance from the ocean today does not present an obstacle for the project.

But beyond our historic connection to the saltwater of the ocean, Fresno today is at the center of numerous important issues regarding freshwater as well. With this in mind, the Fresno Aquarium will also be a home for freshwater species native to our own San Joaquin River watershed.

In fact, water remains central to who we are as Fresnans. Located along the banks of California's second-longest river, the San Joaquin, which is fed by the mighty Sierra Nevada mountain range just to the east, the Fresno Aquarium is ideally situated to beautify the Highway 99 corridor and inspire visitors about why it is so critical to conserve and protect our region's water resources for people, agriculture and the environment.

    • Fresno is Already a Favorite Spot for Millions of Visitors

Fresno is a stopping point for many people from all over the world on their way to and from Yosemite, Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks as well as a regional destination for visitors from surrounding communities.

Students attending Fresno State, their families, friends and alumni in addition to people attending regional college and professional sporting events make up large segments of visitors to our area.

    • Better Jobs and Improved Quality-of-Life for Fresno

As more and more national employers consider Fresno as a location for their operations, it is imperative that we create new, high-quality experiences like an Aquarium to attract and retain a quality workforce.

    • State-of-the-Art Fish and Animal Care Designed by and for Professional Aquarists

The Fresno Aquarium's exhibits are being created and curated to be spacious and naturalistic environments where the fish will feel right at home. Supported by high-tech equipment and cutting-edge techniques, the Aquarium will provide habitats where the animals will not only thrive, but also reproduce.

The behind-the-scenes areas constitute a substantial portion of our building design so that optimal water quality will be maintained throughout the facility at all times, with space also provided to perform scientific research into new and exciting aquarium biological protocols and technologies.

    • Aquariums are Successful and Fresno's will be too

According to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), more than 195 million visitors visit AZA-accreditied Zoos and Aquariums each year. Many millions of people enjoy visiting Aquariums when they are vacationing or wanting to spend engaging and educational quality time with family and friends. The Fresno Aquarium is also incorporating energy and water saving features that we will be highlighting in order to encourage our visitors to do the same.

So, to recap...

What the Fresno Aquarium means to California's San Joaquin Valley:

      • A Leader in Superior Animal Care and Research
      • A Convenient Nearby Alternative in Fresno
      • Major Regional Tourism Destination
      • Educational Resource for our Children
      • Employment Opportunities for our Valley
      • Beautification of the Highway 99 Corridor
      • Amenity to Attract & Retain a Quality Workforce
      • First-Class Venue for Community Events
      • Model for Energy and Resource Conservation
      • Entertainment & Recreational Center

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