The Institute for Marine Mammal Studies (IMMS) is a non-profit organization established for the purposes of public education, conservation, and research on marine mammals in the wild and under human care. IMMS is the premier stranding organization in the Mississippi-Louisiana-Alabama region of the Gulf Coast with the capability and expertise to care for sick and injured marine mammals. IMMS serves as an important educational outlet for the Mississippi Gulf Coast, incorporating programs for conservation, education and research of marine mammals and their environment.
Counsilman-Hunsaker designed two pools located in the Ocean Expo building, a $15 million center located in the front section at IMMS. The first pool is a 3,850 sq. ft. dolphin and sea lion pool which has a performance area with adjacent holding areas for each species through a set of gates. The second 1,550 sq. ft. pool is a touch pool used for manta rays.
The facility houses an educational museum, a 200-seat auditorium for media presentations and lectures, classrooms, a state-of-the-art veterinary hospital, and additional facilities necessary to provide exemplary care for dolphins in every stage of rehabilitation.