Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Greater Cleveland Aquarium to Upgrade Most of Its Public Space

Posted By on Tue, Apr 17, 2018 at 12:46 PM

click to enlarge The Greater Cleveland Aquarium is the only place in Ohio where you can see the weedy seadragon.
  • The Greater Cleveland Aquarium is the only place in Ohio where you can see the weedy seadragon.
Earlier this month, the Greater Cleveland Aquarium began $250,000 in planned renovations. It will continue to make improvements throughout the year and into the first quarter of 2019. The changes include animal life support system upgrades, theming enhancements and the introduction of new species.

Due to the aquarium’s conservation focus, staff will upcycle materials for the renovated décor whenever possible. The aquarium will also add related environmental calls to action in each room.

The first phase of upgrades includes re-theming the beginning of Lakes & Rivers of the World to become an Asia & Indonesia gallery with a new exotic reptile wall and redeveloping a Coastal Boardwalk around the stingray touch pool.

“The carpet will change into something that looks like wood planks, and we think it’ll feel a little like you’re on vacation,” says GM and Splash Fund Director Tami Brown as she takes us on a recent tour. “The large cave exhibit on the back wall will now feature schooling fish.”

All told, the aquarium is slated to welcome a dozen new species including flashlight fish, spiny lumpsuckers, garden eels, a frilled lizard, Solomon Island leaf frogs and poison dart frogs. A new green tree python and weedy seadragons are already on view. The aquarium is the only facility in Ohio with weedy seadragons, a protected species with delicate long noses. They drift more than they swim, but they look particularly exotic. The four that just went on display at the aquarium are still growing and will ultimately become 12 to 18 inches tall.

The aquarium will also address its second floor classroom and play areas.

“Parents have given us feedback that they like the fact there is an open place for their children to roam and blow off steam after they’ve explored the exhibits,” says Brown. “We’re keeping a free play concept but making it more mission-driven. It will become an ‘Imagiquarium’ where they can pretend to run their own aquarium.”

The aquarium, which has drawn 1.5 million people since opening six years ago, has planned the upgrades incrementally so projects will have minimal impact on guests throughout the capital improvement process.

All construction is slated to be completed by the spring of 2019.

Tags: ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

November 17, 2021

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2021 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation