Onondaga County legislators voted to approve funding for an $85 million Syracuse Inner Harbor Aquarium. The director at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo who will be helping spearhead the project says this is really exciting for everyone in the zoo and aquarium community.

“We’re accredited by the Association of Zoo’s and Aquariums and there’s only 215 of those zoos and aquariums that are accredited,” Director of Rosamond Gifford Zoo Ted Fox said. “That means we’re the highest level of animal care, guest experience, research and education.” 

Fox says to have the Syracuse Inner Harbor Aquarium as a potential accredited facility would be a great asset to the community.

“Having all the people in our community have access to this,” Fox said. “That’s one of our big goals is inclusivity for every person in this community and beyond, all the tourists that’s coming.”

Fox says research and conversations with their colleagues at other aquariums and zoo will be done to learn what animals will do well under different circumstances.

“What animals in the wild are doing really poorly or their populations are crashing,” Fox said. “How can we learn more about them to help those wild populations? And that often means bringing some of them into a zoo or an aquarium where research can be done a little more closely on them, Lear about their life cycles or what they eat, how they grow [and] everything about them.” 

Fox says it’s great that people will have two places where they can learn about animals and their habitats.