LONG BEACH (CBSLA) – In its first major expansion since first opening in 1998, the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach unveiled its Pacific Visions wing Friday that will take on climate change.

The Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. (CBS2)

READ MORE: LA County's COVID Hospitalizations Climb Back Above 600

The 29,000-square-feet, two-story structure, designed by the San Francisco-based architecture and design firm EHDD, will house a 300-seat immersive theater, exhibition space, art gallery and several new live animal exhibits.

According to Aquarium officials, Pacific Visions programs will tackle such issues as climate change, extreme weather, sea level rise, water shortages and creating a food supply to feed an additional 2.5 billion people by farming the land and sea.

READ MORE: Woman Struck While Fighting Off Burglars Ransacking Her Bellflower Home

“The Aquarium is taking a bold, unconventional path with Pacific Visions. Rather than focusing on bigger exhibits and more spectacular animals, the new wing will turn the spotlight on the one species on our planet that is changing the future for all others — humans,” said aquarium President and CEO Jerry R. Schubel.

The Pacific Visions building has a facade with more than 800 individually shaped panels that respond to changing light and weather conditions with varying colors to mirror the effect of sunlight rippling on the ocean’s surface.

MORE NEWS: Top News Stories You Might Not Have Heard About This Week

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)