About the Milford Aquarium
Off to create our future, business plan in hand
Where we started:
The idea of the Milford Aquarium was discussed at a meeting of the Economic Development Advisory Panel for the City of Milford. The panel was discussing ways to bring more tourists into Milford. It was decided to arrange a field trip to a regional sized aquarium. The Long Island Aquarium was chosen because it is located in a small river town about eighteen miles from a beach destination, much like Milford. A city councilman, the economic development director and a panel member, toured the facility.
It is here that they learned how much a regional aquarium could help the local economy by creating jobs, becoming a destination for visitors, providing a facility for special events and developing educational opportunities for students. The economic development director commissioned a feasibility study. The study was completed and presented to the economic development advisory panel in October, 2011. The Panel voted to have the project move forward.
On August 7, 2012 the Milford Aquarium Inc. was created as a non-profit corporation. On October 27, 2013 the Internal Revenue Service approved the application for a 501 (c) 3 non-profit status retroactive to August 7, 2012.
Since its inception the aquarium has had an active board of directors. In the spring of 2013, a membership drive began and at this time, we have retained over 200 founding charter members. We attend numerous local festivals, events and business forums to spread the word about the Aquarium project status and growth. Our website became operational in February 2014 and we are now active on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
We have had great success with our restaurant fundraising events held at Ruby Tuesdays, Grottos, Applebee’s, and Abbotts Grill. We have created ways to help from the comfort of your home or while doing something as simple as buying groceries. By shopping at Redner’s Wholesale Markets, we will earn 1% of all purchases made when you turn your receipts in to us. If you shop through AmazonSmile and select the Milford Aquarium as your charity, we will earn 1% of qualifying purchases there as well. Please follow this link for more information about Amazon Smile (http://smile.amazon.com/gp/chpf/about/)
Over two dozen local business owners have supported the Aquarium by becoming corporate members or honoring us with grants. Corporate sponsorship is a great way to support our cause while also supporting your own because we advertise your business on our website social media pages. There is also opportunity for branding sponsored projects and photo ops with a life sized penguin accepting your check.
Where we are today:
Currently, the $46,000 business plan has been purchased and is complete. The aquarium is working closely with a developer and the city of Milford to overcome some zoning challenges and permitting issues. As this is accomplished, the aquarium is researching and speaking with design firms in order to focus on what the aquarium will look like, including size, shape, anticipated exhibits and species, as well as other amenities. It is expected that the aquarium will have over three acres of dedicated space, to be leased under a 99 year contract for $1 a year. This space is only a small piece of planned site development of the entire marina property and over 44 acres on the opposite side of Rt.36 (Cedar Beach Rd.).
The Milford Aquarium will fill a void in central Delaware in an area where there is a definite lack of entertainment options, catering venues and field trip destinations. The Aquarium will serve all of those purposes and more while focusing on conservation of our natural resources, preservation of native species and raising awareness on issues our oceans and waterways are currently facing.