February 7, 2023
Darryl Shaw to lead $40 Million Capital Campaign for  The Florida Aquarium

Photo: The Florida Aquarium

Ybor developer Darryl Shaw (left) and Florida Aquarium President/CEO Roger Germann (right).

Press Release

Darryl Shaw to lead $40 Million Capital Campaign for The Florida Aquarium

| 1/17/2023

Tampa, FL (January 17, 2023) – The Florida Aquarium announced today that developer Darryl Shaw will lead the non-profit’s upcoming $40 million capital campaign, called Sea Change. The campaign is the Aquarium’s largest since its opening in 1995.  Last year, the Aquarium unveiled plans for a major expansion that will include several exciting new experiences, most notably a grand outdoor California sea lion habitat. 

“The Florida Aquarium is a community treasure and its impact goes far beyond our region’s borders,” said Shaw. “Having a vibrant, thriving cultural attraction like the Florida Aquarium enhances our quality of life and places us on an international stage. I have no doubt the support for their continued growth will be well received by the community. The Channel District is proud to be home to The Florida Aquarium and I appreciate the opportunity to serve in this role as they bring a new vision to the neighborhood, the region and the state.”

“To have someone of Darryl’s stature chair this exciting next chapter is an honor and we are incredibly grateful for his willingness to support the Aquarium through his vision and leadership of this fundraising campaign,” said Roger Germann, The Florida Aquarium’s president and CEO. “As Tampa Bay grows, we continue to reimagine our impact and ways to expand our reach across the region and nation. This expansion will bring rich and lasting experiences and education to our neighbors and visitors from across the world and supports our purpose to save marine wildlife in our backyard and throughout Florida.”

The Florida Aquarium’s project, which began this month, is scheduled to be completed in 2025. The expansion includes the addition of a changing special exhibits gallery, a two-story, multidimensional habitat that will feature puffins, and a large-scale outdoor pavilion featuring California sea lions, the only such exhibit on the West Coast of Florida. A significant African penguin habitat will also be part of the outdoor expansion to increase the Aquarium’s impact on the survival of the species.

Named to the Florida 500, as well as the Tampa Bay Power 100 by the Tampa Bay Business Journal, Shaw was the co-founder and former Chief Executive Officer of BluePearl Veterinary Partners.  After selling the company in 2015, Shaw began focusing on development and is today the driving force behind Ybor City’s Gas Worx – a mixed-use project that will link downtown Tampa, the Channel District and the Latin Quarter.



The Florida Aquarium actively participates in and promotes stewardship of the natural environment as part of our mission of conservation. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, The Florida Aquarium provides an opportunity to see thousands aquatic and terrestrial animals, explore complex ecosystems, look for wild dolphins in Tampa Bay, play at the Splash Pad and more! Ranked #3 Aquarium in North America in a recent USA TODAY’S 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards, the aquarium is more than a must-see attraction, The Florida Aquarium is working to protect and restore our blue planet on many conservation fronts, including research and rescue efforts that help restore Florida’s sea turtle and coral populations and to ensure that sharks continue to swim our seas. In August of 2019, The Florida Aquarium, in partnership with Project Coral, became the first to successfully spawn critically endangered pillar coral in a laboratory. To learn more, follow us on social media at @floridaaquarium and visit flaquarium.org.

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