Manteo, N.C. Governor Pat McCrory celebrated the grand opening of a new section of the N.C. Aquarium on Roanoke Island today, joining local and state officials in praising the completion of the project.
"These improvements are the product of several years of planning and $6.5 million in private and public funding as part of our overall goal to further enhance North Carolina's excellent quality of life,"
Governor McCrory said. "This beautiful aquarium is one of the region's top tourist draws and these improvements will help support the growing number of visitors flocking to our state's natural and cultural attractions."
The renovated exhibits allow for aquarium visitors to have a more interactive experience. This includes exploring historic shipwrecks in the sea treasures exhibit, the wooded swampland setting of seven rivers, the re-creation of a Civil War gunship in the ironclad sanctuary and a jellyfish display entitled 'Delicate Drifters.'
Governor McCrory said the timing of the opening was important after he announced earlier in the day that visitation to state attractions, historic sites and parks had increased in 2016.
From Fiscal Year 2014-15 to Fiscal Year 2015-16, which ended June 30, 2016, total visitation to the state's natural and cultural sites increased by nearly 1.8 million visitors, or 7.7 percent.
The N.C. Aquarium at Roanoke Island averages nearly 300,000 visitors each year and is a regional leader in marine conservation and education.
- Contact: Crystal Feldman