The gulf coast is a popular getaway destination for lots of families in south Louisiana. If you're someone who enjoys trips to the Biloxi area, then you will soon have one more thing to do and see.

The Mississippi Aquarium is set to open in Gulfport early next year.

You and your family will be soon able to visit the new 80,000 square feet of exhibits right along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

The aquarium will be home to a wide variety of water, land and air species including alligators, river otters, river fish, dolphins, stingrays, and shorebirds.

All total, the aquarium will contain over 1 million gallons of both salt and freshwater and sit on over 5.8 acres. The aquarium's landscaped walkways will also represent all seven plantings in the Physiographic Regions of Mississippi.

The $93 million project, which includes design, construction and land acquisition costs, is being funded through $30 million from the City of Gulfport, $24.5 million from the State of Mississippi through the issuance of bonds, and $17.5 million in monies received through the settlement of the BP oil spill in 2010.

The exact date of opening has not been announced, but keep tabs on the progress and learn more at the Mississippi Aquarium website.

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