Recently opened in 2018, the Pacific Rim Aquarium at Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium is a new addition to the zoo and replaces the current North Pacific Aquarium. More than just a replacement, the new aquarium expands the zoo’s collection and provides the zoo with a new experience on ocean conservation. The Roto team was chosen as a sub to the architects, EHDD, to develop tank and habitat design, interpretive elements, and visitor experience.
The aquarium is home to many new exhibits including a 250,000-gallon Baja Bay tank with a viewing window that starts at the floor and curves overhead. This new tank gives the visitors a unique experience as scalloped hammerheads and green sea turtles swim above them. The Marine Discovery Center replicates a North Pacific tide pool where visitors can touch starfish, urchins, and other critters and learn how to observe these sea creatures should they come across them.
Roto designed multiple interpretive experiences including an interactive word wall and conservation stations at each exhibit. The conservation stations will provide the user with additional information about the species and will give users access to facts, news articles, quizzes, and conservation games. Visitors leave the new aquarium with knowledge on how we share the ocean and a responsibility to protecting it.