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Great Hall of Shells

Following damage sustained by Hurricane Ian, The Great Hall of Shells, which first opened in 1995, is being redesigned and reinstalled to exhibit a greater quantity and diversity of shells. New displays will feature approximately 3,000 specimens (more than double the number on view previously) with a dazzling array of beauty and global biodiversity, and will include special focuses on Southwest Florida shells, world-record-sized shells, deep-sea species, land snails, and ancient fossils. 

An expanded section of exhibits about how shells play a role in human history and culture will include new spotlights on shells in currency, adornment, music, art, architecture, spirituality, food, utility, medicine, curiosities, and collecting. A pre-existing exhibit of the connections between shells, mollusks, and the Calusa culture will be refreshed and augmented.

A new section of The Great Hall devoted to conservation and environmental education will include exhibits on water quality, warming oceans and ocean acidification, invasive/introduced species, aquaculture, and restoration initiatives. Also included will be a new children’s and family activity area with games, books, art activities, etc.

The new Great Hall of Shells is projected to open in late-spring 2024.

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