See a New Sea

The Texas State Aquarium is bringing the sights, sounds and vibrant wildlife of the Western Caribbean to the shores of South Texas. By interpreting the unique features of both the Gulf of Mexico and the Western Caribbean, the official aquarium of the State of Texas will become one of the premier aquariums in the nation. With the creation of the Caribbean Journey, the Texas State Aquarium is positioned to be a national leader in advancing conservation efforts and showcasing marine research, as well as in offering entertaining and educationally-enriched programming.

Caribbean Journey is the expansive final phase of a visionary master plan that will include:

  • Sharks, tropical Caribbean fishes, birds and reptiles
  • Diverse and unique Yucatan Peninsula and Western Caribbean Sea
  • Hands-on exploration and interactive exhibits
  • 4D Theater – the only one in South Texas!
  • Increasing capacity, guest and event services
  • Expanding our conservation and wildlife rehabilitation programs
  • New Center for Excellence in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Education
The Aquarium brings greatest value to our community through conservation and by teaching others to appreciate their environment.
     — Peggy Fagan, Trustee, Prichard Family Foundation
Campaign Caribbean:
Our Next Journey

Now, as we approach our 25th anniversary, we are poised to realize the vision of our founders and complete the journey that was started more than 30 years ago. We are embarking on a major campaign to create the Caribbean Journey, the final critical voyage of that ambitious original master plan.

The Aquarium’s new Caribbean Journey will inspire and educate guests through interactive, immersive exhibits. Our goal is simple: to connect people with nature, and inspire in them an appreciation for the wonders of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea

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About the
Sian Ka’an

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Journey from
Jungle to Sea

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Follow
Our Progress

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Projected
Economic Impact
Vision Realized

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Journey to the Sian Ka’an

Immersed in the sights, sounds, and the vibrant flora and fauna of Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, guests will be transported to the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Preserve, an incredibly diverse region located along the central coast of the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico. Home to some of the longest underground rivers in the world and the second largest barrier reef on earth, this unique treasure presents incredible opportunities to connect visitors from all over Texas and the U.S. to this wondrous region.

 

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Journey from Jungle to Sea

Guests begin their journey in the tropical forest and traverse through immersive habitats, exploring freshwater wetlands, caves, limestone sinkholes, coastal lagoons, Mayan ruins, offshore coral reefs and the open Caribbean Sea beyond.

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Follow Our Progress

Texas State Aquarium and Valero Make Major Campaign Caribbean Announcement 

Half-million dollar contribution from Valero aids fundraising effort for Aquarium’s Caribbean Journey expansion

September 4, 2014

CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS – The Texas State Aquarium is excited to announce another significant gift for Campaign Caribbean, the Aquarium’s capital campaign which will fund the largest expansion in its 24-year history. Today, continued partner Valero announced a generous $500,000 gift to Campaign Caribbean, which surpassed the crucial midway point of achieving its $50 million goal earlier this year and has a groundbreaking scheduled for late this year.

The major gift will sponsor the new entryway into the Caribbean Journey experience, introducing guests to the sights, sounds, and vibrant wildlife of the Western Caribbean. “For more than three decades, Valero has been committed to the Coastal Bend Region through the jobs we create and the contributions we invest in our community,” said Dennis Payne, Vice President and General Manager, Valero Corpus Christi Refineries. “Today’s gift for the Texas State Aquarium is another demonstration of our commitment to Corpus Christi, especially causes that focus on education and environmental sustainability. It’s Valero’s hope that this new entryway will usher in a wave of excitement for tourists, residents, and businesses across the state.”

Texas State Aquarium President & CEO Tom Schmid commented, “Since the opening of the Aquarium almost 25 years ago, Valero has been a great partner and great patron. Valero has been consistently generous and helped us advance our mission. This latest investment affirms their commitment to environmental education, wildlife conservation, and economic development in this community, and throughout Texas.”

The $50 million Caribbean Journey addition – which completes the final two phases of the Aquarium’s original master plan – will transform the Texas State Aquarium from a leading regional aquarium to one of the top aquariums in the nation.

In late 2012, the Texas State Aquarium launched the leadership phase of Campaign Caribbean, a capital campaign to raise the necessary funds for construction of the Caribbean Journey wing. At 65,000 square feet, the new Caribbean Journey wing will be significantly larger than the original Gulf of Mexico exhibit building.  “The new wing will be 50 percent larger, however, in terms of indoor exhibit space. It will more than double what we currently have,” said Aquarium President & CEO Tom Schmid.  “This is going to be a multi-level, highly immersive, state-of-the-art experience.”


Texas State Aquarium Announces Monumental Expansion

H-E-B contribution of $3 million leads way in effort for Caribbean Journey to More Than Double Size of Aquarium

June 25, 2014 

CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS – The Texas State Aquarium is excited to announce today the largest expansion in its 24 year history. Bringing the sights, sounds, and vibrant wildlife of the Western Caribbean to the shores of Corpus Christi, this $50,000,000 Caribbean Journey addition – which completes the final two phases of the Aquarium’s original master plan – will transform the Texas State Aquarium from a leading regional aquarium to one of the top aquariums in the nation.

In late 2012, the Texas State Aquarium launched the leadership phase of Campaign Caribbean, a capital campaign to raise the necessary funds for construction of the Caribbean Journey wing. Today, continued partner H-E-B announced a lead gift of $3 million to Campaign Caribbean, which has now reached the crucial midway point of the $50 million goal, enabling the Aquarium to commission final construction documents and move forward with groundbreaking scheduled for late this year. Rob Hall, Group Vice President of H-E-B Gulf Coast Region stated, “The Texas State Aquarium is one of the most significant educational resources in our state. H-E-B is pleased to continue our partnership with the aquarium because we believe this investment represents our passion for education and our commitment to the communities we serve.”

At 65,000 square feet, the new Caribbean Journey wing will be significantly larger than the original Gulf of Mexico exhibit building. “The new wing will be 50% larger, however, in terms of indoor exhibit space, it will more than double what we currently have,” said Aquarium President & CEO Tom Schmid. “This is going to be a multi-level, highly immersive, state-of-the-art experience.”

Caribbean Journey
Fast Facts

  • 65,000 square feet – size of new building
  • 400,000 gallons – volume of Caribbean shark habitat
  • 65’ long – length of shark display window
  • 100 seats – capacity of the new 4-D theater, the only venue of  its kind in South Texas
Projected Annual Economic Impact
  • Increase the overall economic impact to $69 million
  • Support 887 area jobs and provide salaries of $20 million
  • Produce more than $10 million in hotel room sales
  • Generate more than $5 million for local taxing districts
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Contact Info

Rocky Kettering, Ed.D., CFRE

361-881-1255

rkettering@txstateaq.org

2710 North Shoreline Blvd.
Corpus Christi, TX 78402