Mar 27, 2023 - News

Something splashy: The zoo's water savings plan

The sea lion pool. Photo courtesy of Blank Park Zoo

Blank Park Zoo will save tens of thousands of gallons of water each week by installing a new filtration system in its sea lion exhibit, spokesperson Ryan Bickel tells Axios.

Plus, the pool will also be converted from fresh to saltwater, which will result in better conditions for the animals.

State of play: The sea lion pool was reconstructed about 12 years ago but a filtration system was not included.

  • As a result, the 130,000-gallon pool is emptied and cleaned about once a week.
  • The filtration system would greatly reduce that frequency, resulting in the water savings.

Driving the news: The zoo was awarded a nearly $3.3 million state grant earlier this month, which includes money for the sea lion facility improvements.

  • It's part of a larger $18.1 million capital campaign that will also include a new lion conservation center as well as exhibit spaces for eagles and Iowa amphibians.

What's next: Fundraising continues, with additions and improvements — including the filtration system — set to be completed over the next three years.

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