Aquarium Exhibit Highlights Oil Spill

An Iowa aquarium had planned an exhibit to show off the plentiful marine life of the Gulf of Mexico, but has decided instead to feature the BP oil spill.

Officials of Dubuque's National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium, which is set to show off part of its new $40 million expansion on Saturday, said its new Gulf aquarium exhibit has been reconfigured to dramatically show the environmental impact of the Gulf disaster.

The exhibit "will not open as a celebration of a vibrant, life-filled Gulf; instead it will be empty and completely devoid of life," the museum said in a press release. "This should cause everyone to pause and consider the delicate balance of life in our oceans."

The museum said the spill is one of the worst environmental disasters of its kind. While there will be no fish in the 40,000-gallon tank, the aquarium gallery will have educational materials, hands-on activities, multi-media exhibits and information about the disaster and how to get involved in recovery efforts.

The idea, the museum said, is a "compassionate and factual representation of the Gulf crisis."

Photo courtesy of Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium
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