Calling all shark enthusiasts and beach-goers alike! The Alliance for Coney Island is excited to welcome Ocean Wonders: Sharks! to Coney Island. The new exhibit at the New York Aquarium was in the works for over a decade and finally opened on June 30th, 2018 with a splash. The new building holding the exhibits boasts an impressive three story, 57,500 square foot space with nine interactive and dynamic galleries.
Walking towards the building, you will be greeted by the mesmerizing shimmer wall, inspired by the ocean. Consisting of over 30,000 individual metal panels and spanning over 1,100 feet, the installation wraps around the building to reflect the oceanfront that houses it. Each panel moves independently from one another, replicating and reflecting the waves of the ocean and mimicking schools of fish. Beyond these shimmering metal waves, visitors can expect to meet 18 different species of sharks and stingrays the aquarium is now home to, including Sand Tiger Sharks, Sandbar Sharks, and Cownose Rays, amongst the other 115 marine species they are joining.
One particular gallery that is sure to draw a crowd is the Coral Reef Tunnel. Visitors will be immersed by the ocean as you learn and walk through the floor-to-ceiling tank and experience life beneath the waves as you see sharks swimming above you and fish swimming beside you. Follow along their 400-million-year-old history and the critical role they play in marine ecosystems in the following galleries and learn more about sharks than what you saw in Jaws. While movies and pop culture play these animals out to be bloodthirsty predators, the New York Aquarium and Cristian Samper, CEO of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), believe this exhibit can unveil the mysteries shrouding these animals and “Inspire awe and admiration for sharks and open our visitors’ eyes to what they truly are – keystone species in the world’s ocean which, as top predators, helps to regulate the populations of other species, bringing a vital balance to a healthy ocean.” Likewise, in learning about their importance, WCS hopes its visitors will learn about the “Severe threats sharks face; and inspire guests to protect the surprisingly diverse and beautiful marine wildlife here in New York.”
Come on down to Coney Island and kick off summer with the new exhibit at the aquarium. For more information on the new exhibit and the galleries it offers, check out this article by the WCS Newsroom here. Be ready to learn and become a part of a movement to protect aquatic animals this summer! Open every day of the year, tickets are available online at a discounted price from June 30, 2018 through September 3, 2018, or in-person. Check out the New York Aquarium’s website for more information about transit and parking. We look forward to meeting you there!