Hello! I know many of you have been patiently waiting for our sea tanks to be replaced. I am happy to say that we are finally beginning this project! The project went out to bid in January and Brang Construction was selected. The Greater Boca Raton Beach and Park District originally set aside $1 million for this project. Because such favorable bids were received, the District unanimously voted to approve an additional $1 million to complete the entire project rather than phasing it over a few years.
What IS the Tank Project?
We will have four new saltwater tanks: a pair of shallow tanks and a pair of deep tanks. The tanks will feature side viewing windows and have a hard roof with fans and lights. In addition, the deep tanks will feature a second story viewing gallery. At the March Pre-Demolition and Mobilization Meeting, we learned that demolition will begin May 9. The schedule for the project is 275 days from start to finish, barring any unforeseen delays.
What will Happen to our Residents and Turtle Conservation Program?
Two tanks will be relocated off-exhibit to house Florida Atlantic University (FAU) research animals and any animals we cannot release, such as our Kemp’s ridley sea turtle, Wiggie. We will relocate the Sea Turtle Research and Conservation Program patrol vehicles, supplies, and equipment to the northern end of the property. We do not anticipate any disruption in patrols, Turtle Walks or Hatchling Releases.
So, what does this mean for the rest of Gumbo Limbo?
We will continue regular business hours; we will continue to do programs and tours, albeit modified tours; we will have summer camp; we will have school groups, and the Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Center will be open during business hours. We will offer alternatives to the tanks. This will be an opportunity to highlight other aspects of our facility and grounds. We plan to increase the utilization of the Boardwalk/Hammock, North Trail, Butterfly Garden, Chiki, sidewalk tanks, FAU tanks, and of course, the Rehabilitation Center.
Volunteers will be on hand at the construction area to talk about the progress of the Tank Project.
We thank you for your continued support and patience as we update our facility to provide better habitat for our resident animals and an educational experience for our visitors.