Sunday, April 14, 2024

National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium opens $40 mil expansion and "Lifeless Gulf" exhibit

DUBUQUE — The National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium opened its $40 million expansion, the Diamond Jo National River Center on June 26, 2010. The expansion includes a new Gulf of Mexico exhibit. However, the Gulf exhibit did not open as a celebration of a vibrant, life-filled Gulf; instead it shows a Gulf empty and completely devoid of life.

A dramatic depiction of the effects of the oil spill is presented in the aquarium gallery next to the lifeless aquariums. Educational materials, hands-on activities, multi-media exhibits and information about how to get involved are also presented. The board and staff decided that opening a Gulf of Mexico exhibit at this time requires a compassionate and factual representation of the Gulf crisis.

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. The exhibit, without fish, has the opportunity to make a bold statement related to the oil spill in the Gulf Coast by asking Museum & Aquarium visitors to imagine a lifeless Gulf. Read more here.

Judith Rubin
Judith Rubin
Judith Rubin ([email protected]) is a leading journalist, content marketing specialist and connector in the international attractions industry. She reports on design and technical design, production and project management, industry trends and company culture. From 2005-2020 she ran communications and publications for the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA). In 2013, she was honored with the TEA Service Award. She was development director of IMERSA and publicist for the Large Format Cinema Association, and has contributed to the publications of PLASA, IAAPA and the International Planetarium Society. Judith joined World’s Fair magazine in 1987, which introduced her to the attractions industry. She joined InPark in 2010. Judith earned a BFA from Pratt Institute. She has lived in Detroit, New York, Oakland, and now Saint Louis, where she is active in the local arts community.

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