GULFPORT, Miss. (WALA) - If you have a passion for marine life, soon, you and your familywill have a place to enjoy it on the Gulf Coast.
The Institute for Marine Mammal Studies based in Gulfportannounced that construction on an Ocean Expo Learning Center willstart before the end of the year in D'Iberville.
"Two facilities on the coast got destroyed. We had marine lifethat was in the marine mammal business, and the marine educationcenter which was in the education business in Biloxi, so with thetwo of them destroyed, the only other option was to put them allback together," said Moby Solangi, Ph.D.
If all goes as planned, the multi-million dollar center willhouse hundreds of aquatic plants and animals. There will be marinemammal shows, aquarium exhibits, and a snorkeling river, where youwill actually be able to swim through the ocean expo complex.
"I think it'll be a great facility and very unique facility andwe're going to set it apart by making it interactive where peoplecan actually touch and feel and enjoy nature," said Dr.Solangi.
D'Iberville Mayor Rusty Quave says the educational facility willbe the anchor for future development in the city.
"I think we have a lot more entertainment venues that have cometo D'Iberville and if this happens we will be interested in comingin and purchasing some property and putting in some otherfacilities. So we're looking at doing a French Quarter and an oldtown type development," Mayor Quave said.
The Ocean Expo Learning Center will also offer picnic areas, arainforest restaurant, a gift shop, and harbor tours.
It will be located at the southwest corner of I-10 andI-110.
Construction, which is being funded by a $10 million governmentgrant, should take two years.
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