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Oklahoma Aquarium taking shape

No need to worry, but sharks are now swimming near the banks of the
Arkansas River.

Construction crews are making quick progress on the Oklahoma Aquarium in
Jenks and several sharks have now been moved into quarantine facilities.
"It is really exciting to see everything coming together," said Doug
Kemper, Aquarium director. "Everything is going as planned and we are on
schedule to open this September."

The aquarium, located on 66 acres, will display thousands of aquatic
animals, as well as provide hands-on educational opportunities in the
facility's wet labs.

"This is really going to be a first class facility," Kemper said. "Many
of the aquariums and buildings are over halfway complete so the whole
complex is really taking shape."

Upon completion, the Oklahoma Aquarium will cover 82,000 square feet,
including a 400,000 gallon shark tank. The facility will feature 200
exhibits and will showcase many of Oklahoma's native fish species in
exhibits depicting their native environments.

Along with the natural exhibits, the Oklahoma Aquarium will also display
a historic collection of over 20,000 antique lures and tackle pieces at
the Karl and Beverly White National Fishing Tackle Museum. The $4 million
dollar collection is one of the most complete and comprehensive
collections of vintage fishing gear in existence.

Not only will there be plenty to see at the Oklahoma Aquarium, there will
also be plenty to learn. The aquarium will have wet labs where students
can conduct freshwater and marine experiments. These learning laboratories
will assist students of all ages in discovering fascinating aquatic
environments.

"There will be a constant flow of students and other visitors from all
over the state who will learn about the Department's role in managing
Oklahoma's aquatic resources," said Colin Berg, education supervisor for
the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.

The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation has a working
relationship with the Oklahoma Aquarium and will relocate its Tulsa-area
offices at the Aquarium complex.

"We are excited about the new outreach opportunities that will be
available to us at the Oklahoma Aquarium. Our association with this fine
new facility will allow us to continue providing a high level of personal
service to our northeast Oklahoma constituents," Berg said.

For more information about the Oklahoma Aquarium go to okaquarium.org or
check out the Department's Web site at
www.wildlifedepartment.com/aquarium.htm<.

(excerpt from the ODWC weekly email)