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Winter the Dolphin, the movie star from the two Dolphin Tale movies, is getting a bigger and better home to welcome new rescue friends to CMA.

The new habitat allows CMA to care for twice as many rescued animals, including new species, with over 60,000 square feet of new space.

The renovation also includes the addition of a 40-foot wide, 14.5-foot tall viewing window where guests can observe the dolphins in their new habitat.

Families will be able to visit Winter and her friends in their new home starting late July/early August. CMA implements significant safety precautions to protect guests, the staff, and animals to ensure social distancing while providing educational fun.

Take a look at the rest of the Clearwater Marine Aquarium facility:

Here’s a timeline of Winter’s Life time at Clearwater Marine Aquarium since she was rescued:

December 10, 2005: Winter was rescued at Mosquito Lagoon, on the east coast of Florida by Cape Canaveral. At only three months of age, Winter found herself wrapped tightly in a crab trap line and was unable to escape. She was transported to CMA to begin a long rehabilitation. Winter lost her entire tail as well as two vertebrae, a result of the serious injuries that she had sustained.

• 2006: Winter became a resident of Clearwater Marine Aquarium and forever changed the impact CMA would have on marine conservation. This year also reflected the first time Winter’s story inspired children and wounded soldiers, in essence inspiring humanity.

• 2007: The first prosthetic tail team meeting took place in April, followed a few months later with the first fitting for Winter’s tail.

• 2010: The first book was published about Winter’s story in January, titled Winter’s Tail: How One Little Dolphin Learned to Swim Again.

• December 11, 2010: Hope was rescued very close to the same location as Winter and brought to CMA for rehabilitation.

• 2011: The movie Dolphin Tale, based on Winter’s struggle for survival and CMA’s tireless efforts to save her was released in September. The Warner Bros.-based Alcon Entertainment movie became a #1 box office hit.

• 2012: Winter and Hope met and were paired together in December.

• 2013: The documentary entitled Winter, The Dolphin That Can was released, featuring footage of Winter’s rescue and rehabilitation and stories of unique individuals whose lives have been changed by Winter.

• 2014: Dolphin Tale 2 released in theaters, CMA breaks attendance records.

• 2015: Expansion plans announced for current facility on Island Estates.

• 2016: Groundbreaking held for expanded facility, Winter’s Gallery of Hope unveiled, Mavis’s Recue Hideaway opens to the public.

• 2017: Nicholas makes his first winning Super Bowl prediction; Cheeto the Lucky Seahorse who became a worldwide sensation is rescued, rehabbed, and released; Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach unveils six aquatic-themed guest rooms, featuring Winter the Dolphin and other marine life.

• 2018: Ocean Allies, a conservation plan designed to transform Clearwater Beach into the #1 recognized ocean friendly beach in the world, is launched.

• 2019: Sea to Shore Alliance, a renowned group of researchers and scientists, merges with Clearwater Marine Aquarium expanding conservation and research scope focusing on manatees, sea turtles, and North Atlantic right whales; PJ, a partially deaf and blind rescued dolphin, joins Clearwater Marine Aquarium as a permanent resident.

This article was written by Melvin Vigo~ Melvin Vigo is Beasley Media Group's Fort Myers Digital Program Director. He's a sucker for ice cream and a good Netflix show. When he's not working, he's probably napping, watching endless Tik Tok videos or at the dog beach. Because why not? You can connect with Melvin on Instagram @mr.hernanlugo