Mississippi Museum presents lifeless gulf - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Mississippi Museum presents lifeless gulf

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -- The National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium is opening a $40 million expansion, the Diamond Jo National River Center, on June 26, 2010. But one of the exhibits will be changing, due to the recent oil spill. 

The new Gulf of Mexico exhibit will not open as a celebration of a vibrant, life-filled Gulf, but will open empty, completely devoid of life. Since the spill has been named on of the worst environment disasters of it's kind in U.S. history, officials decided to recognize the crisis.

By removing all fish from the Gulf tank they hope to cause everyone to pause and consider the delicate balance of life in our oceans. They will use this image to educate museum goers about the important and tragic time in history. Along with the lifeless aquarium, educational materials, hands-on activities, multi-media exhibits and information on how to get involved will be presented.

The Intent of the Gulf of Mexico exhibit is to draw a connection between the Mississippi River and the ocean and to bring to light the devastating effects of the oil spill.

A press release explains how multiple organizations are participating:

To help present this vital message, the Museum & Aquarium is working with the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, several other federal agencies; as well as the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, the Museum & Aquariums network of 62 museums on the Mississippi River, partnership with 24 of Coastal America Learning Centers and other zoos and aquariums across the country. With help from these partners the Museum & Aquarium intends to spread the message that protecting the Gulf and responding to this disaster belongs to all of us, even in the Midwest and the entire Mississippi River Basin.

"The National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium is a regional and national leader in science education. This new Gulf Coast exhibit is particularly timely as the nation is focused on the oil spill disaster and its impact on wildlife and wild places," President and CEO of AZA Jim Maddy said.

Online Reporter: Lauren Squires

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