The southeastern part of the United States is home to many freshwater species. Over 660 of these native species live within 500 miles of Chattanooga, Tennessee, the city that just so happens to be where the new 14,000-square-foot Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute (TNACI) facility will be housed, Tennessee Aquarium announced.
“We are surrounded by an underwater rainforest,” Dr. Anna George, director of the Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute said. “These amazing freshwater communities are unparalleled for any location outside the tropics. This is why the Southeast is so exciting to the scientific community.”
“The Aquarium has been educating our guests about freshwater and working on conservation projects with a variety of partners in our region for nearly 25 years,” Charlie Arant, the Aquarium’s president and CEO, said. “The time has come for us to expand those efforts in order to have an even greater impact on this region for generations to come.”
According to Tennessee Aquarium, the new riverfront facility will “serve as the only freshwater science center in the Southeast. This biological field station will house propagation systems for reintroduction programs, three fully-equipped labs for researchers, a spacious teaching lab for rising high school and college students as well as meeting space for collaborative projects with other scientists.”