Entries in New York Aquarium (2)


Damaged by Hurricane Sandy, the New York Aquarium Partially Reopens

iStockphoto(NEW YORK) -- New York City’s beaches officially open Saturday just months after being damaged by Superstorm Sandy. Another shoreline fixture, the New York Aquarium on Coney Island, is partially reopening, having been badly damaged by the storm.

The aquarium, which is a major money-maker for Coney Island, opened in 1957. The entire aquarium has been closed to the public since the October hurricane.

Part of the shore-front attraction remains closed for repairs, but a majority of the displays will be open to the public, according to Jon Forrest Dohlin, director of the New York Aquarium.

“All of our marine mammals will be on exhibit, our walruses, our sea lions, our harbor seals, our sea otters and our penguins will be out as well,” Dohlin said.

Dohlin told ABC News the storm killed so many fish the aquarium won't be able to fully re-open until 2016, as Sandy flooded tanks with water that was filled with debris, and backup power was knocked out to all exhibits

“We had some freshwater fish outside in outdoor ponds that were inundated with the salt water,” he said. “We lost those animals. That was quite a tragedy and there was a couple of large tanks that we could not get to quickly enough to stabilize.”

Still, the Aquarium is looking forward to re-opining, even if it’s only partial.

“We have a very important role in the economy of Coney Island and of Brooklyn writ large,” Dohlin explained. “We do about 58 million dollars of economic activity, we're a science education outreach juggernaut and we are a very important voice for marine conservation. So we decided it was important to get open in any way we could.”

 Dolhlin says the animals are looking forward to the reopening as well.

“The animals, I think, have missed the day-to-day rhythm of having the public here,” he said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


At New York Aquarium, Staff Considers Evacuating Fish

File photo. iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Inside the New York Aquarium, fish tanks and exhibits are now surrounded by floodwater and sand from Sandy’s surge.

The aquarium, located just off the famous boardwalk of Coney Island in Brooklyn, is home to sand tiger sharks, sea otters and a new baby walrus — and for days it was without power.

A dedicated staff now remains at the battered facility to monitor the tanks and provide food and water to the animals. The aquarium said it has generators that restored power to three-quarters of its exhibits by Friday evening.

“Our walruses, sea lions, seals, sea otters, sea turtles and sharks are all fine,” said Jim Breheny, executive vice president of New York’s Wildlife Conservation Society, which runs the aquarium.  “We did have some losses in the fish collection, most of which were confined to one exhibit tank that we could not access immediately after the storm hit.  The rest of our exhibit and holding tanks and the fish that are housed there are all doing well.”

Still, Breheny said, the society would ask other aquariums in the area to remain on standby through the weekend in case animals have to be evacuated.

If they did, it could be a complicated effort.

John Hewitt, senior vice president of the Audubon Nature Institute in New Orleans, told ABC News Friday that specialized cages would be needed and that a single shark required a 12,000-gallon fish tank.

He moved dozens of animals from New Orleans’ aquarium after Hurricane Katrina.

“You need veterinary expertise,” he said. “These animals are highly specialized. [It's] very demanding from an animal health standpoint.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio