The North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores has been closed to the public for nearly three years during its $25 million expansion. The aquarium reopened on May 19, 2006. In comparing the old and new structures, the largest display increased from 12,000 gallons to 306,000, square footage from 29,000 to 93,000, and the full-time staff from fourteen people to forty-five people. The aquarium has broadened its focus, and the new theme is â€œNorth Carolina's aquatic life from the mountains to the sea.â€ Five galleries showcase the state's major aquatic zones. The attendance is projected to double from 250,000 to half a million.