The Rivers to the Sea Gallery at the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium premiered in 2010 with the opening of the organization’s Diamond Jo National River Center. Updated in 2016 to include a stingray touch tank experience and aquariums representing delta habitats, the space has recently received a large boost toward a third phased update to the permanent exhibit space.

The Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust has awarded the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium $300,000 to support the design-build, fabrication, and installation of new permanent enhancements. Funds will be used specifically to support new aquatic animals and the systems necessary to house the animals, including quarantine facilities and life support systems. Funds will also be used for general construction and related capital expenses.

All enhancements will build upon the River Museum’s diverse collection of aquatic life. Each of the 10 new aquarium habitats included in the project will support a specific conservation-based message. Seahorses will help interpret captive breeding programs. Lionfish will serve as an example of the hazards of invasive species. A kelp forest will showcase the extreme biodiversity within this unique habitat. Throughout the gallery expansion, connections between the rivers of America and our oceans will be made clear.

The enhanced gallery messaging is rooted in environmental advocacy, sustainability efforts, and conservation research. These additions to the organization’s living collections will create opportunities for new educational curriculum, new formal partnerships, and expansion of the River Museum’s newly established Take CAARE (Conservation Action through Advocacy, Research and Engagement) program.

Enhancements to the Rivers to the Sea Gallery are currently slated for 2022; however, funding for the space is not yet complete. For more information on the River to the Sea Gallery project, contact Vice President of Living Collections and Education Andy Allison at 563-557-9545 x239. For more information on the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium, including its exhibits and conservation efforts, visit rivermuseum.com.