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"When I would clean tanks, that you could tell that kids just loved them," Aaron Farris, CEO of the East Idaho Aquarium told BYU-Idaho Radio. "Their fingerprints were all over them or you could see where they had just smooshed their face onto the tank and I was also wiping their little stains off the front of the glass...and that's what I realized this area just needs something more. There's so many kids that would enjoy something like this, like a big aquarium."

October 18, 2017
Writer: Sydney Jensen

A new business in southeastern Idaho aims to give customers a glimpse of ocean life.

East Idaho Aquarium aims to "create a fun interactive learning environment," as customers experience the wonders of the ocean in a place where ocean life is several hours and states away. Aaron Farris, CEO of the East Idaho Aquarium, says the idea sprung from an experience he had when he worked in a pet store and regularly cleaned the fish tanks.

"When I would clean tanks, that you could tell that kids just loved them," Aaron Farris, CEO of the East Idaho Aquarium told BYU-Idaho Radio. "Their fingerprints were all over them or you could see where they had just smooshed their face onto the tank and I was also wiping their little stains off the front of the glass...and that's what I realized this area just needs something more. There's so many kids that would enjoy something like this, like a big aquarium."

The 10,000-square foot aquarium is now open to the public, but Farris says the organization is still waiting on some of their animals because of Hurricane Irma.

"They were getting ready to send them to us and then, one phone call after another, they were just all saying, hey the airports are closed, we're going to have delay this shipment," Farris said. "It's taken a huge impact on us and it's kind of wild that a hurricane would have an effect here in Idaho."

For Farris, one of the best parts of about the aquarium is what it represents: a community coming together to provide an interactive, educational opportunity. 

"When people come through, that's one thing they have to like when they look at it, just be like, oh my goodness, all this was community brought about, there's not one big corporation doing this, it was literally the community got behind this and made it happen."

You can listen to the full interview below.