Groundbreaking at Aquarium offers peek into future

After being badly damaged by Superstorm Sandy, the New York Aquarium is on track to come back better than ever. On January 10, the Aquarium celebrated the anticipated success of the new exhibit– Ocean Wonders: Sharks! — set to open in 2016, with a ceremonial groundbreaking whose intention is to draw attention to the impending exhibition.

The 57,000 square foot facility will feature over 115 species of marine wildlife, housing sharks, skates and rays. The state-of-the-art building will don a 1,100-foot long shimmer wall, seamlessly connecting the Coney Island Boardwalk with the Atlantic Ocean.

“This exhibit promises to not only satisfy curious minds about these majestic and fascinating creatures, but it will also be New York’s window to the ocean that surrounds us, literally,” said former City Councilmember Domenic Recchia.

The new installation will serve as both an educational experience and economic stimulant. The facility will offer a new Oceanview Learning Laboratory to cater to the 220,000 school children that visit the aquarium annually, as well as immersive and interactive exhibits, aimed at forging connections with nature while emphasizing the importance of conservation.

“Visitors young and old will come to ‘sink their teeth’ into this great display of marine life, all of which will highlight the great education and conservation work of the Wildlife Conservation Society,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.

The project cost $157.1 million, and New York Aquarium generates more than $58 million of economic activity for the surrounding community.

“This is an historic day for the New York Aquarium. From its first days at Battery Park dating back to 1896, to its comeback after Hurricane Sandy, the Aquarium has had an amazing past,” said Wildlife Conservation Society Vice President and Director of the New York Aquarium, Jon Forrest Dohlin. “Today, we broke ground on its future.”

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