During the 1970s, the city of Norwalk undertook the South Norwalk Revitalization Project, geared to preserve the historic architecture of South Norwalk. Without the support and determination of the City of Norwalk and the Redevelopment Agency, Norwalk Seaport Association, Junior League of Stamford-Norwalk, and The Oceanic Society, a commitment was made to ensure the development of a maritime center featuring live animals and an IMax theater, and boat collection. The building was renovated from a former 1860s iron words factory, and finally opened on July 16, 1988. The first animal exhibits included Harbor seals, Open Ocean, and Touch Tank. Now, the Aquarium houses 75 live exhibits with more than 2,700 live animals, representing 300 species. The Maritime Aquarium’s focus is on Long Island Sound, inspiring people of all ages to protect such ecosystems and the global environment.