Conservation Hall

Coral reefs, freshwater lakes, flooded forests! The diversity of the aquatic world is astounding. As you travel through three distinct habitats, you’ll see gliding rays, clownfish nestling in anemones, neon tetras, a school of piranhas, and other fascinating aquatic life. You’ll also learn how WCS protects threatened ecosystems from the Caribbean to the South Pacific.

What to See and Do


Get a snorkeler’s-eye-view of Belize.

On Glover’s Reef, cownose rays “fly” above vibrant schools of fish and moray eels poke their heads out of crevices along a stunning coral reef.

Investigate skeletons of the deep.
It’s alive! A reef is composed of the exoskeletons of tiny marine animals called corals. Learn how WCS scientists grow coral at the Aquarium in our Coral Lab exhibit, and observe corals at various life stages.

Learn survival skills from a fish.
At the Pacific Ocean’s Coral Triangle and the African Great Lakes exhibits, learn about how fish hide from predators, protect their territory and keep their young safe.

Discover the great freshwater lakes of Africa.
Africa’s Lake Malawi is home to more species of fish than any other lake on earth. See some of them here. Also stop by the Malagasy Fish Lab to learn how fish grow, and how WCS is helping to protect Madagascar’s endangered fish.

Meet the Amazon’s forest fish.
Learn about the amazing flooded forest in Brazil, where the waters rise over 40 feet every six months and a forest the size of Florida goes underwater. Meet the fish and rays that thrive as they migrate into the flooded forest to search for food and mates.

Debunk the myths about piranhas.
You may know them for their sharp teeth, but what about their pretty orange and yellow bellies, and their parenting skills? Meet these often misunderstood animal of the flooded forest.

Green your fish tank.
At the Sustainable Pet Kiosk, learn how choosing the right animals for your home can have a positive effect on environments and communities around the globe.

Saving Underwater Wildlife from Brooklyn to Brazil

Through the various exhibits of Conservation Hall, you’ll discover how WCS’s global marine programs and aquarium here in Brooklyn are working hand-in-hand to save wildlife. At our Coral Lab, you’ll learn how the skills that WCS is developing by propagating coral at the New York Aquarium may help save corals in danger from global warming. At the Glover’s Reef exhibit, you’ll meet the WCS scientists who work at the Glovers Reef Marine Research Station in Belize, and learn about critical grouper spawning grounds, a sustainable local lobster fishery, and the resiliency of reefs. You’ll also learn about a program that enables local communities in South America to sustain their families while protecting their natural resources in the flooded forest tributaries. By the end of your visit, you’ll have a better understanding of what you can do to help aquatic wildlife, too!