A Shipwreck as a Portal for an Aquarium Exhibit

June 25, 2012

In 2015, the New York Aquarium will open a new exhibit, "Ocean Wonders: Sharks!" Inspired by local shipwrecks, one tank in the exhibit will depict a part of New York's history currently housed on the ocean floor.

For the past year, WCS scientist-divers have been visiting the waters off Montauk, N.Y., to document the Lightburne, a vessel that famously sank during 1939. The conservationists are studying the sea life that swarms around this and other local shipwrecks to inform work on a new $150-million exhibit at the New York Aquarium.

The Ocean Wonders: Sharks! exhibit, slated for 2015, will house 115 native fish species and 25 shark species in addition to a tank depicting a typical shipwreck. Sue Chin, chief architect at WCS, is relying upon information and images gathered by WCS divers to design the exhibit.

Chin explains, "We're using the information not only to recreate the context that visitors will walk through, but also the habitat where the fish are, because we want to be as true to the place as we can."

To learn more about the diving expeditions and exhibit, visit the New York Times.