Florida Marine Rescue Aquarium Waterproofed with PENETRON ADMIX

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Officially completed in August 2020, the expansion project for the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Clearwater, Florida needed a reliable waterproofing solution to protect the new concrete structures from the saltwater environment. Penetron crystalline technology provided the durability the architect was looking for.

A healthy place: The Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Florida is a non-profit organization dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of sick and injured marine animals.

With so many large saltwater tanks, a reliable and durable waterproofing solution was an obvious priority for Fisher Architects, the CMA project designers. Penetron crystalline technology turned out to be the ideal solution for the Clearwater site.

Officially completed in August 2020, the expansion project for the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Clearwater, Florida needed a reliable waterproofing solution to protect the new concrete structures from the saltwater environment. Penetron crystalline technology provided the durability the architect was looking for.

The Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of sick and injured marine animals. CMA staff also help educate the public about marine habitats and wildlife, as well as their work in animal-assisted therapy and research. The CMA first opened in 1972 in a former water treatment plant (the large pools are ideal for rehabilitation programs).

Working Marine Hospital
“The Clearwater Marine Aquarium is not exactly like the aquariums we are familiar with. It’s actually a rescue and recovery facility for marine animals, such as dolphins and sea turtles, to rehabilitate and prepare them for release back into their natural habitats,” explains Christopher Chen, Director of The Penetron Group.

Due to serious injuries that prevent their return to the wild, many of the rescued animals are now permanent CMA residents and will not be released back into their previous habitats. These include North American river otters, Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, green sea turtles, Kemp's Ridley sea turtles, cownose rays, southern stingrays, nurse sharks, great white pelicans, and other fish, including gag, hogfish, and red drum.

The aquarium's most famous resident is Winter, a bottlenose dolphin who was caught in a crab trap and rescued. Her injuries resulted in the loss of her tail so the aquarium fitted her with a prosthetic tail. This brought worldwide attention to the CMA and Winter later starred in the 2011 film, Dolphin Tale, and the sequel, Dolphin Tale 2. Both films were shot partially on location at the aquarium.

CMA Expands
The latest expansion triples the size of the rescued dolphin habitat, which now consists of five connecting pools (total: approximately 1,500,000 US gallons/5,700,000 liters of water), a new hospital facility, larger education areas (total space: 103,000 ft2/9,400 m2), and a new four-level parking garage with 400 parking spots. The CMA can now enlarge their rescue and rehabilitation efforts and also create an enhanced living habitat for the resident animals and provide more space for guest patients.

Concrete has been successfully used as the main construction material for aquariums, seawalls, breakwaters, bulkheads, jetties – all constantly exposed to saltwater. However, concrete structures in marine environments risk reduced life spans due to rapid deterioration from waterborne chlorides that penetrate the concrete. This exposure leaves the reinforcing steel in the concrete at risk to corrosion and expansive cracking, which can quickly lead to premature deterioration and structural failure.

“With so many large saltwater tanks, a reliable and durable waterproofing solution was an obvious priority for Fisher Architects, the CMA project designers,” says Christopher Chen. “Penetron crystalline technology turned out to be the ideal solution for the Clearwater site.”

Argos USA, a ready-mix supplier in Tampa, Florida, added PENETRON ADMIX to the concrete during the batching phase. Over 3,500 cubic yards (2,700 m3) of treated concrete were used for all the new water tanks and water containment areas, as well as components of the new parking garage. PENEBAR SW-55 waterstop was installed along the construction joints to ensure watertight joints and a combination of PENETRON and PENECRETE MORTAR was used to patch the water tank tie-holes and for minor repairs to the concrete.

The Penetron Group is a leading manufacturer of specialty construction products for concrete waterproofing, concrete repairs and floor preparation systems. The Group operates through a global network, offering support to the design and construction community through its regional offices, representatives and distribution channels.

For more information on Penetron waterproofing solutions, please visit penetron(dot)com or Facebook(dot)com/ThePenetronGroup, email CRDept(at)penetron(dot)com, or contact the Corporate Relations Department at 631-941-9700.

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