2 public meetings will highlight new aquarium plans for Point Defiance Zoo

Metro Parks Tacoma will host two public meetings this month to discuss details of the new aquarium scheduled to open at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in the summer of 2018.

According to Metro Parks Tacoma officials, the zoo’s existing 52-year-old North Pacific Aquarium is failing, weakened by decades of salt-water corrosion, and its life support systems are increasingly fragile. The 34,000-square-foot replacement aquarium is in the design and development stage, and will be built next to the Wild Wonders Outdoor Theater stage. Construction is set to begin next summer and will be paid for with funds approved by voters last year as part of a $198 million Metro Parks Tacoma bond measure. The new aquarium will contain several galleries dedicated to marine animals found in Puget Sound and in the near and far reaches of the Pacific Ocean.

You can learn details about the site, planning, and design for the new aquarium during the following public meetings:

Mon., Sept. 28 — 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Metro Parks Tacoma headquarters
4702 S. 19th St.

Zoo officials and representatives from EHDD — the architectural firm designing the aquarium — will make a presentation to the Board of Park Commissioners during a public review and study session. This meeting will include an open house for public viewing of drawings and other information at 5 p.m., and a board study session at 5:30 p.m. Members of the public who wish to share their views on the project may do so during the public comment period of the regular board meeting, which begins at 6 p.m.

Weds., Sept. 30 — 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, North Pacific Aquarium
5400 N. Pearl St.

Zoo officials and representatives of EHDD will provide an additional opportunity for members of the public to learn about the new aquarium and ask questions about the construction process and timeline.

Both meetings will feature information about where the new aquarium will be located on zoo grounds, its size, and details about the various galleries of marine animals that will be included in it.

The new aquarium project is part of Metro Parks’ Destination Point Defiance, a long-term planning initiative for Point Defiance Park.

More information is available online at pdza.org/newaquarium.