Great news from New York today: The Wildlife Conservation Society has announced plans to partially reopen the hurricane-damaged New York Aquarium in late spring of this year.
The partial reopening will include Glover’s Reef; exhibits in Main Hall (Coral Triangle of Fiji, Great Lakes of East Africa, and the Flooded Forests of the Amazon); outdoor spaces of Sea Cliffs (walrus, sea lions, harbor seals, sea otters and penguins); and a fully re-modeled Aquatheater with a new sea lion demonstration.
The New York Aquarium suffered extensive damage due to a significant storm surge on the night of Monday, October 29, 2012, as Hurricane Sandy struck the Northeast. Surge waters from the Atlantic Ocean came over and under the Coney Island Boardwalk completely or partially flooding all buildings at the 14-acre park. The ocean flood waters destroyed or significantly damaged the facility’s heating, air conditioning, and electrical power and distribution equipment and aquatic life support systems. Flooding damaged the interiors of most exhibit buildings. Losses in the collection were minimal and limited to fish and invertebrates housed in a few tanks. The damage was significant to the infrastructure and the facility has been closed since the night of the storm.
In conjunction with the partial reopening of the aquarium, education programs will resume on a limited basis at the facility. This will include the teen docent program, summer camp for students, and training for educators. In addition, aquarium staff will continue to work closely with the WCS Global Marine Program on the WCS New York Seascape initiative to conduct conservation research from Cape May to Montauk.