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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $523,822 in American Rescue Plan Funds for a New Aquarium Exhibit to Boost Tourism in Norwalk, Connecticut

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration is awarding a $523,822 grant to The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, Norwalk, Connecticut, for a new, multimedia exhibit on local ecology. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan.

This project will support the long-term recovery of tourism in Norwalk and will create jobs in the local hospitality industry. This investment will produce a signature, state-of-the-art exhibit titled ‘The Salt Marshes of Long Island Sound,’ inviting visitors to the region to learn more about its history and ecology. The EDA investment will be matched with $331,558 in local funds.

“President Biden is focused on ensuring our nation not only recovers from this pandemic but builds a stronger America.,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo, “The travel, tourism and outdoor recreation sector is a critical economic driver for many communities and the Economic Development Administration is pleased to support community-led development strategies designed to boost tourism and build a better America.”

“I thank the Economic Development Administration at US Department of Commerce for this American Rescue Plan funding, and I applaud the leadership of President Biden, Secretary Raimondo, Assistant Secretary Castillo, and our congressional delegation for providing states and local communities with the tools to accelerate the recovery from the pandemic,” said Governor Ned Lamont. “The Maritime Aquarium is a wonderful facility that draws families and educators from all over the state and the region. This funding will allow them to enhance our understanding and enjoyment of Long Island Sound and its unique features.”

“The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk – with its innovative and creative programming – is a regional magnet for people of all ages,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal. “This funding enables the Aquarium to expand its vital role, enhancing the understanding and appreciation of the ecology of Long Island Sound and its shoreline.”

“Long Island Sound is one of Connecticut’s greatest treasures,” said Senator Chris Murphy. “Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, this funding for a new exhibit at the Maritime Aquarium will drive visitors to Norwalk and provide a fun opportunity for families to learn more about what makes the Sound so special.”

“The Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk serves as a hub for our community, providing education and entertainment for the entire region,” said Congressman Jim Himes (CT-04). “This grant will help bolster The Maritime Aquarium’s most important roles: promoting stewardship of our local environment and conservation of the Long Island Sound and its inhabitants. I’m grateful to the Economic Development Administration for making these funds available and helping the aquarium reach an even broader audience with its important messages and programs.”

This project is funded under EDA’s $240 million competitive American Rescue Plan Travel, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation program. EDA awarded $510 million in grants to all 50 states and territories in 2021. The two programs are designed to accelerate the recovery of communities that rely on the travel, tourism and outdoor recreation sectors.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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