Ocean Wonders: Sharks!

June 24, 2012

Come 2016, Coney Island beachgoers will come ashore to connect with sharks, skates, rays and other fish. The New York Aquarium’s newest exhibit will bring people to the sea, and the sea life to the people.

Beachgoers at Brooklyn’s Coney Island will soon be coming ashore to see sharks up close—about 40 of them. The New York Aquarium’s “Ocean Wonders: Sharks!” exhibit, scheduled to open in spring 2016, will be a celebration of the city’s maritime history and of sharks, animals often misunderstood and threatened worldwide by overfishing. The 50,000-square foot building will feature whitetip reef sharks and blacktip reef sharks, sandbar sharks and sand tiger sharks, nurse sharks, Port Jackson sharks, and wobbegongs. The exhibit's 500,000-gallon tank will also hold many skates, rays, sea turtles, and thousands of schooling fish.

But the sharks won’t be the only eye-popping attraction. The building itself will resemble a shimmering wave. Small aluminum squares will sparkle in the sunlight and move with the wind along a 1,000-foot-long dynamic wall. Wrapping around the building, the spiral ramp will transport visitors between the aquarium and Coney Island’s boardwalk. Along the way are ocean views, a water play sculpture area, a touch tank filled with local species, and a roof deck with an interactive gathering space.

“This exciting new shark exhibit will attract people from far and wide to visit the New York Aquarium,” said Councilman Domenic M. Recchia, Jr., whose district includes Coney Island. “It’s been a dream of mine to have a world-class shark exhibit at the New York Aquarium, and this brings us one step closer to making that dream a reality. The revitalization of Coney Island is already attracting record-breaking crowds and Ocean Wonders: Sharks! is an important piece of our ultimate goal—establishing Coney Island as the biggest, best year-round tourist destination in the world.”

Aquarium Director Jon Forrest Dohlin said, “We are creating an unforgettable experience that will celebrate the oceans and marine life, educate future conservationists, and advance WCS efforts to protect seascapes in New York and across the globe.”