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New aquarium exhibit to feature octopus, interactive sea creatures

MEDICINE PARK — The newest exhibit to open this weekend at the Medicine Park Aquarium and Natural Sciences Center is unlike anything found in this region.

The aquarium will open the Joyce Family Marine Science Octopus, Tide Pool and Touch Tank with a ribbon cutting at 11:30 a.m. Saturday. The new exhibit — a precursor to a much larger marine sciences center — will feature a Caribbean two-spot octopus alongside a tidepool exhibit, where guests can interact with and touch starfish, sea urchins, lobsters and other marine creatures.

Doug Kemper, executive director, said the exhibit came about due to the Joyce family’s dedication to marine sciences.

“We got a call from Dr. Daniel Joyce about two months ago who noticed there were sponsorships available at the aquarium with exhibits sponsored,” Kemper said. “He wanted to sponsor one and his children really loved octopods. He wanted to know if there was a way he could sponsor an exhibit like that for his kids.”

A marine sciences center has always been in the plans for the aquarium in the coming years. It had taken a back burner to other projects due to its projected cost. But Joyce and his family offered to sponsor a smaller exhibit inside the aquarium. Much like Turtle Town, which came about from a family sponsor, Kemper opted to move forward to bring something completely new to the aquarium.

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