Clearwater Marine Aquarium fulfills its 14-year vision of providing a new habitat for Winter the Dolphin by unveiling the Dolphin Tale star’s 1.5 million gallon Ruth and J. O. Stone Dolphin Complex habitat with a ribbon-cutting. This new habitat was developed to provide state of the art care for CMA’s resident dolphins and is part of the $80 million expansion efforts currently underway at the Ruth and J.O. Stone Dolphin Complex on Island Estates.
The nine viewing windows offer sweeping underwater views of all five residents Winter, Hope, PJ, Nicholas and Hemingway, including the 40-foot wide by 14-foot tall Kate Tiedemann and Ellen Cotton Main Dolphin Pool and Observation Window. The Stone Dolphin Complex triples CMA’s dolphin pool space, allowing for the care of additional rescued animals.
“We are so excited to unveil this beautiful new space after 14 years of planning and discussions,” said CEO Frank Dame. “Each guest that comes through our doors allows us the ability to rescue, rehab, release, and care for our non-releasable resident marine animals.” Dame continued, “With the additional capacity this beautiful and custom-made habitat affords us, we will be able to care for twice as many rescued animals and give them the best care available.”
The opening of Winter’s new home is the first in a two-phased opening for the Stone Dolphin Complex. This fall, CMA will open third-floor access to the Stone Complex with views of Clearwater Beach and the top of the dolphin habitats. Additionally, Phase II of the expansion project will also include a whole new entrance experience, new dining areas and locally-sourced food options with beer and wine, a new retail area, private event space with a ballroom and full prep kitchen, high-tech theatre, double the education space, four private meeting rooms, and five-times the guest space.
Sitting on Clearwater Bay, this habitat is minutes from the pristine sands of Clearwater Beach and 90-minutes from Orlando. Visit seewinter.com to make reservations and for admission specials.