CORPUS CHRISTI, TX – The Texas State Aquarium is excited to announce that the new Port of Corpus Christi Center for Wildlife Rescue will hold its Grand Opening on Thursday, March 2nd, 2023, coinciding with Texas Independence Day. The 26,000-square-foot wildlife rescue center will be on the Aquarium’s campus and replace the existing facilities on Rincon Road. The new center will increase its’ capacity to respond to emergency wildlife events, becoming the largest coastal wildlife rescue facility in Texas, and one of the largest in the U.S. The center will be the only Texas wildlife rescue facility permitted to treat marine mammals, raptors, shorebirds, and sea turtles and can accommodate thousands of animals at any given time. The new center will be outfitted with state-of-the-art veterinary medical equipment, an interpretive gallery, an emergency operations center, and the only CAT scan used specifically for wildlife in Texas. For the first time since the Aquarium’s rescue program started, the public will have unparalleled access to witness the treatment and rehabilitation of thousands of shorebirds, raptors, marine mammals, and sea turtles. One of the Aquarium’s goals is to facilitate learning for veterinary medical students and veterinary technologists and a better understanding of what the community can do to help protect wildlife. The grand opening coincides with the monumental 50th Anniversary of the Endangered Species Act, which establishes protections for fish and wildlife listed as threatened or endangered. Leading the way since 1995, the Wildlife Rescue Program has admitted thousands of protected, threatened, and endangered species for rescue and rehabilitation, releasing over 4,000 animals back into their natural habitat. “Saving endangered species is critical and a big part of the Aquarium’s mission,” said Texas State Aquarium President and Chief Executive Officer Jesse Gilbert. “By purchasing a ticket to the Texas State Aquarium, visitors are directly supporting the conservation of these endangered species, and now they will have the opportunity to see it first-hand.” This achievement is a testament to the generous support of the community. Funding for the building was made possible by many donors, including the Port of Corpus Christi, the Dobson Family of Foundations, the City of Corpus Christi, the ExxonMobil Foundation, Catherine and Bob Hilliard, the state of Texas, The Brown Foundation, Valero, and the Earl C. Sams Foundation. The official Grand Opening of the Center for Wildlife Rescue will be held on March 2nd, 2023, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.