Currently, visitors to the Manatee Coast at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium are so distracted my the manatee viewing experience that they do not recognize the educational information about rescue and rehabilitation efforts going on at the zoo. As part of WAZA, the zoo has the responsibility to create conservation awareness and provide biodiversity education and the current design application is not conducive to fulfilling that obligation.
As a design solution for this problem, I am proposing to separate the conservation education and manatee viewing by creating an immersive, experiential and educational exhibit in the walkway between the Aquarium and the Manatee Coast. The exhibit would be called ‘Sirenian Sound.’ Sirenian meaning an aquatic, herbivorous mammal of the order Sirenia commonly known as sea cow; and Sound meaning a relatively narrow passage of water between larger bodies of water or between the mainland and an island.
In addition to experiencing the exhibit, visitors will also be able to take with them an informational booklet which has additional information about manatee conservation at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.