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Thursday, May 30, 2024

New North Carolina satellite aquarium planned for Pender County development

A new aquarium is being planned for Pender County (Port City Daily photo/FILE)
A new aquarium is being planned for Pender County (Port City Daily photo/FILE)

HAMPSTEAD — A new aquarium is being planned for a development located in Pender County off U.S. Highway 17. The development, known as Blake Farm, is a 1,300 acre project piloted by the Trask Land Company.

Plans were submitted to the Technical Review Committee (TRC) for the Blake Farm retail portion of the project; it will consist of five restaurants, three office buildings, and a 7,700-square-foot aquarium. A public hearing for the development is scheduled for the TRC on Tuesday, Oct. 3, and for the Pender County Planning Board on Nov. 7.

According to President of the Trask Land Company, Raiford Trask, the aquarium portion of the development will have a shellfish theme and have a research component to it. The state will be providing funding for the aquarium; when finished it will be a branch of the North Carolina Aquariums system, which include the aquariums at Fort Fisher, Roanoke Island, Pine Knoll Shores and Jennette’s Pier.

Trask said he is very excited about the opportunity to help provide educational experiences with the new aquarium, adding that the new site is a prime location for it since approximately 42,000 cars pass by the site on a daily basis.

This will be Trask’s first time experience being involved with an aquarium, he said.

The Blake Farm Retail  development will consist of nearly 15 acres in total.

726-2017-Site-Plan by Michael James on Scribd

Michael Praats can be reached at

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