Menu

This is a debugging block

Header First

This is a debugging block

Get Involved Header

Header Second

This is a debugging block

Animals

Understand Our Mission

Preface First

This is a debugging block

Preface Second

This is a debugging block

Preface Third

This is a debugging block

Content

This is a debugging block

Grouped Content
Understand Our Mission

We believe in preserving our marine life and environment while inspiring the human spirit through leadership in education, research, rescue, rehabilitation and release.

Our Vision:
Our vision is to promote environmental awareness and respect for marine life.  Although best- known for our physical location in beautiful Clearwater Beach, Florida, we have developed a global media platform which allows us to reach millions.  We believe in thinking big and doing great things.

CMA is a leader in collaborative partnerships which support marine environmental awareness, research and stewardship. 

Our History:

  • 1972: A group of dedicated volunteers decided it was time to establish a permanent marine biology learning center in the Tampa Bay area. The Sea-Orama, a mounted fish exhibit at Clearwater Marina, had been in storage for several years.  As Clearwater Marine Science Center (CMSC), we searched for a facility to accommodate our hopes for larger exhibit space and incorporate as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
  • 1978: The city of Clearwater agreed to donate an abandoned water treatment plant.  With its huge water pools and bayside location, the building was a perfect fit for our vision.
  • 1979: Marine biologist Dennis Kellenberger was hired as CMSC's Executive Director to teach classes and spearhead the massive remodeling effort.
  • 1980: The cement and steel building was modified for aquarium purposes and was granted a USDA Research Facility permit, allowing it to prepare two 65,000 gallon pools for the rehabilitation of dolphins, whales and sea turtles.
  • 1981: The first exhibit, featuring fish from the original Sea-Orama, was opened to the public.  Over the next few years, thanks to individual and corporate donations and immense volunteer efforts, CMSC continued to grow.
  • 1984: Many animals were cared for at CMSC including an Atlantic bottlenose dolphin named "Sunset Sam", the first dolphin to survive a stranding in the state of Florida. 
  • 1990s: Renovations continued to provide more public areas and education programs. The name was changed to Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA) to reflect the increasing level of community interaction.
  • December 10, 2005: Winter was rescued at Mosquito Lagoon, on the east coast of Florida by Cape Canaveral. At only three months of age, Winter found herself wrapped tightly in a crab trap line and was unable to escape. She was transported to CMA to begin a long rehabilitation. Winter lost her entire tail as well as two vertebrae, a result of the serious injuries that she had sustained.
  • 2006: Winter became a resident of Clearwater Marine Aquarium and forever changed the impact CMA would have on marine conservation.  This year also reflected the first time Winter’s story inspired children and wounded soldiers, in essence inspiring humanity.
  • 2007: The first prosthetic tail team meeting took place in April, followed a few months later with the first fitting for Winter’s tail.
  • 2010: The first book was published about Winter’s story in January, titled Winter’s Tail: How One Little Dolphin Learned to Swim Again.
  • December 11, 2010: Hope was rescued very close to the same location as Winter and brought to CMA for rehabilitation.
  • 2011: The movie Dolphin Tale, based on Winter’s struggle for survival and CMA’s tireless efforts to save her was released in September. The Warner Bros.-based Alcon Entertainment movie became a #1 box office hit.
  • 2012: Winter and Hope met and were paired together in December.
  • 2013: The documentary entitled Winter, The Dolphin That Can was released, featuring footage of Winter’s rescue and rehabilitation and stories of unique individuals whose lives have been changed by Winter.
  • September 2014: Dolphin Tale 2 released in theaters. 

Postscript First

This is a debugging block

Postscript Second

This is a debugging block

Postscript Third

This is a debugging block

Postscript Fourth

This is a debugging block