The Mississippi Aquarium planned for Gulfport’s waterfront would create a visitor experience “significantly larger in scale” than any Coast attraction, a marketing study says. (Click here to see study)

The Gulfport Redevelopment Commission, which owns 12 acres downtown where the aquarium would be built, is talking about an initial investment of $40 million. Mayor Billy Hewes believes the money will be there. The city already has a $24.5 million commitment from the Mississippi Legislature, and is requesting BP Restore Act funds to make up the difference.

“We are very close to making this a reality,” Hewes told the Sun Herald last week. At Gov. Phil Bryant’s suggestion, Hewes said, the city initially invested in the project to show it was serious.

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