The Aquarium Project will be Brevard Zoo’s second campus located on a 14-acre site at Port Canaveral. Focused on the Indian River Lagoon and surrounding ecosystems, it will immerse more than 500,000 visitors annually in the region’s beauty and use local examples to teach universal lessons on caring for our waterways. Whether guests are visiting from Melbourne, Florida or Melbourne, Australia, they will leave with a better understanding of why and how to protect our natural resources.
Our Legacy Campaign (OLC) is a $100 million effort supporting Brevard Zoo’s growth and creating a world-class Aquarium and Conservation Center. This campaign ensures continued zoo operations and growth while raising capital to build a world-class Aquarium and Conservation center on the banks of the Banana River.
Yes, Brevard Zoo is a private 501(c)(3) nonprofit operated by the East Coast Zoological Society of Florida. Unlike most AZA-accredited facilities, we do not receive recurring government funding for our operations. We rely on earned revenue, grants, and donations from people like you to maintain operations and support our conservation and education work.
In September of 2021, we signed a lease agreement for a 14-acre site at Port Canaveral along the banks of the Banana River, close to cruise ship terminals, easily accessible from U.S. Highway A1A, and overlooking the water which we are striving to restore and protect.
We hope to open the new facility in early 2027. Groundbreaking is planned for late 2024 and will be followed by an estimated two years of construction and some time for our aquatic ambassadors to acclimate to their new homes once complete.
The Aquarium will showcase local species from the Indian River Lagoon and surrounding waterways, including sea turtles, bull sharks, alligators, tarpon, stingrays, manatees, and many more! We will not be housing dolphins or other cetaceans (dolphins and whales) at this facility.
The Aquarium will foster a deeper connection between visitors and the environment, inspiring behavior changes for conservation. It will also support vital research through the Coastal Conservation Hub, fund projects via visitor admissions, provide rehabilitation space for sea turtles and manatees, and foster the next generation of marine biologists and waterway stewards.
No, there will not be public boat access to the Aquarium. We will not have the infrastructure to function as a public marina, and one of our goals within this project is to leave the shoreline and immediate surroundings healthier than their current state. Boat access would require dredging a canal through the shallow bay and would cause further disruption of the natural ecosystem we are trying to highlight and preserve.
- Spread the Word: Help us reach more people by sharing our campaign through social media, requesting a presentation for your group. Let everyone know about this transformative project.
- Fundraising: Every contribution helps us reach our goal. If you or your organization/group would like to become Aquarium Founders, visit the Become a Founder page. Non-monetary support, like hosting events or donating auction items, also contributes to our success.
- Get Involved: If you want to help in other ways, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Opportunities are available to help distribute materials, staff information tables, and engage with the community.