The downtown Rockford Aquarium would offer a life-altering aquarium experience where visitors will explore beautiful and vibrant ocean life and learn the importance of conserving our water, the ocean and its inhabitants. Many people ask the question, “Why an aquarium?” The answer to this question is quite simple.

Board member Gayle Marzorati states, “…the magic and wonder of an aquarium has a special ability to transport children into experiencing otherworldly attractions and sparks their imagination,” Marzorati finishes with, “this is an exceptionally special experience for children who aren’t necessarily able to vacation or visit beaches, oceans, seas and other water forms. It is necessary for our city to have this type of resource for them that is both educational and fun.”

The Rockford Aquarium will enhance the quality of life in Northern Illinois, but would serve Rockford citizens, families, and community members at the forefront. It will occupy a unique space while also being fun and educational for guests of all age groups and demographics. It will teach about the wonders of our oceans and rivers and will bring to life the creatures that make our earth’s waters so interesting and wondrous.


It will be a family-centered facility filled with awesome interactivities. Board member Martha Mitchell says “it is imperative that The Rockford Aquarium be on the water, that’s what this project is all about,” Mitchell continues, “the Rock River can be used as an educational resource in a multitude of ways, and the Aquarium would of course take advantage of this. We will magnify the Rock River as a fresh water system.”


Part of the goal for the entertainment venue would include technological innovation with hologram and artificial intelligence. Virtual reality will play a key part in the project’s makeup and will act as a fully integrated interactive immersive exhibit.  This will be continuously updated experience for every visitor who enters the aquarium, due to the artificial intelligence built into the exhibit.

The aquarium will be a highly visible tourist attraction encouraging repeat visitors with ever- changing exhibits. The Rockford Aquarium will be an important economic stimulus, building on the City of Rockford’s plan for further community development. Marzorati concluded her thoughts by saying, “An aquarium elevates a city and it makes it a whole lot better. It takes it up a notch.”

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