TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WTOC) - Tybee Island’s new Marine Science Center is expected to open in just a few weeks and the old one is about empty.
It’s been a hot topic for many residents and even vacationers who are excited to see what’s in store!
About a year ago, this building was under construction and when the pandemic began it delayed some of the progress. However, all that needs to happen now is moving the animals in and getting the exhibits up.
“We not only miss seeing people but our animals, especially Addy, loves seeing visitors as well,” said Program Director Beth Palmer.
The Tybee Island Marine Science Center staff have been busy breaking down the old science center in preparation for their big move. The process takes time, but by the end of the month, staff say they’ll be out of the building.
“We put a lot of work into this over the years. Most of it’s been done ourselves, so we’re kind of taking down all of our hard work, but we know it’s going to be a good thing.”
Program Director, Beth Palmer says right now they’re emptying most of the tanks and releasing animals, like fish and crabs, back into the ocean. Palmer says they’re only bringing the reptiles to the new facility and will restock the rest.
“We have staff and volunteers that go out collecting. We’ll go out and use 10-foot nets and try and catch some fish. We’ll throw out cast nets. Local fishermen on the pier will bring some cool animals to us.”
Palmer says IKEA gave them $75,000 to furnish the new building, so they’ve been able to pay it forward to other organizations like Habitat for Humanity and the Oatland Island Wildlife Center.
“We were able to share that love and give some of our furnishings and some of our tanks to other facilities like us.”
Palmer says the new facility is expected to be open in March and the city will take over the old building.