Clearwater Marine Aquarium
Rescue and Rehabilitation
Clearwater Marine Aquarium (or CMA for short) is a non-profit facility dedicated to rescue, rehabilitation and release of sick or injured marine animals. For those marine animals whose recovery is insufficient to allow them to survive in the wild, they are cared for at their new CMA home.
CMA has operated since 1972 at its location near Clearwater Beach. It's facility includes several large tanks that accommodate rescued Dolphins as well as sharks, turtles, otters and even a stingray pool.
While there are a number of interesting exhibits at CMA, by far it is the Dolphins who are most captivating. CMA usually accommodates a number of Dolphins - some temporary pending recovery and release - others as permanent residents who can't be released. These Dolphins are well cared for by staff and volunteers.
Beyond physical and medical care, CMA staff work hard to provide Animal Enrichment activities as part of the overall well-being for the animals. This is particularly important for the intelligent Dolphins. To the delight of visitors, these animal enrichment activities provide entertainment as well! Playing with new toys, puzzle feeders, squirt guns (yes squirt guns!), swimming and jumping challenges, painting (past dolphin resident Sunset Sam), interaction with staff and even guests are some of the constantly changing activities to keep the Dolphins stimulated and active.
Update: It is with sadness that we report Winter the dolphin has succumbed to an gastrointestinal abnormality and died on 11/11/2021.
One of the most famous Dolphins associated with CMA is Winter who captured our hearts with her story of near death, rescue and survival. See our Winter the Dolphin page for more. Winter became internationally famous for her story told through the movie Dolphin Tale.
After the release of Dolphin Tale movie, CMA established a second facility called Winter's Dolphin Tale Adventure (WDTA) in downtown Clearwater. WDTA is full of exhibits about Winter the Dolphin along with many of the Dolphin Tale movie props, displays, an interactive kid's area, a mini theater, scene set recreations and even an active hurricane experience exhibit! Admission price includes access to both facilities and transportation between the two.
More CMA Adventures
In addition to the popular dolphin, sea turtle, otter, shark and stingray exhibits and shows, CMA also offers Behind the Scenes Tours, a Sea Life Safari Boat Tour, guided kayak tours, award-winning Summer Camps for kids, and special events/parties.
The 90 minute Sea Life Safari Boat Tour explores the intracoastal waterway looking for Dolphins and sea life. With authorization from the state of Florida, the tour drops a net for a few minutes and then pulls it up to see and record what sea life is found before carefully returning the catch to the sea. The tour continues to a nearby island for a brief stop to explore and maybe look for sea shells.
For more information:
Clearwater Marine Aquarium
249 Windward Passage, Clearwater, FL
To help support the worthwhile cause of the non-profit CMA, go to Support the Mission.