Southeast : Construction Begins on City Aquarium

Construction began Monday on Long Beach’s $100-million Aquarium of the Pacific, putting the city ahead of several efforts to open marine attractions in Southern California.

Planners said the aquarium, with 21 exhibit tanks ranging in size from 5,000 to nearly 500,000 gallons, will re-create various Pacific Ocean habitats that will house 12,000 marine animals.

City leaders hailed the project as a key to Long Beach’s economic rebirth. They predicted that tourism will create 3,000 local jobs and bring in $275 million when the it opens in mid-1998 alongside a refurbished waterfront.