Cure for Cabin Fever: Cleveland Aquarium provides taste of the tropical ocean right downtown

CLEVELAND - How can you Escape the cold grey Ohio Winter and experience some tropical ocean action? Try the new Greater Cleveland Aquarium at the Powerhouse in the Flats.

With its grand opening in early 2012, the aquarium will feature a quarter-million gallons of water in 42 different tanks over 17,000 square feet. A special exhibit focusing on waterlife found in Ohio's lake and rivers will be one of the highlights.

"We took a look at the fresh-water area and decided to redesign it a little bit and have a much tighter focus on Ohio lakes and rivers," said Tami Brown, General Manager of the Greater Cleveland Aquarium.

The facility will be developed and operated by Marinescape Eco Aquariums, which has created 23 major walk-through aquariums world wide. This will be its first facility in the United States.

The 70,000 square foot facility will feature 42 different tanks. The largest tank will hold a quarter of a million gallons of water.

The aquarium will also feature sharks and rays and all the colorful coral fish that you see out in the ocean, while retaining much of the original architecture found inside the historic Cleveland Powerhouse.

"We are taking the original infrastructure found inside the hallways, those used to be coal chutes, and are using them to create a really interesting atmosphere," Brown said.

The Greater Cleveland Aquarium is expected to draw between 400,000 to 500,000 visitors a year and create 40 full-time jobs with a payroll of $1.6 million.

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