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January 11, 2021

25th Anniversary: Sandy Freedman

Former Tampa Mayor Sandy Freedman said some daring was required to find a home for The Florida Aquarium. She recalled: “It had originally been planned for Clearwater and then it proposed all over the place over here. It looked like…

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Eric Hovland

November 19, 2020

25th Anniversary: Eric Hovland’s Journey

As a young biologist with a lifelong passion for wildlife, Eric Hovland was thrilled to be hired in November 1994 at The Florida Aquarium, which was still under construction. “I had heard about this innovative new aquarium being built in…

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July 23, 2020

Mangroves | 25 Years in the Making

Walking through the Mangrove Tunnel at The Florida Aquarium’s Wetlands Trail exhibit, visitors couldn’t be blamed for believing the bizarre surroundings were sculpted for dramatic effect. Nicknamed the “walking tree,” the red mangrove’s tangled roots do indeed look as if…

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Rita Coley

February 11, 2020

25th Anniversary Blog: Staff Since the Beginning

As one of The Florida Aquarium’s original employees, Rita Coley had a “front row seat” for its opening. As The Aquarium evolved, so did her career. Now, 25 years later, she remains passionate about her work and surroundings. The housekeeping…

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