Brooklyn, New York – Dec.
14, 2010 – The Wildlife Conservation
Society has received approval from the New York City Public Design Commission
for Ocean Wonders: Shark – a 50,000 square-foot structure featuring 115 species
of marine animals, including more than 40 sharks.
Ocean Wonders: Shark is a key
component of A SEA CHANGE, a 10-year partnership launched in September 2009 by
WCS, the City of New York, and the Borough of Brooklyn. A Sea Change includes
two transformative programs: a renewal of WCS's New York Aquarium featuring
new, innovative architecture and exhibits; and a renewal of WCS's commitment to
local conservation with the New York Seascape, a marine conservation program that
will build understanding, awareness, and protection of the waters from Montauk,
N.Y., to Cape May, N.J., and the Long Island Sound.
This iconic building,
expected to be completed in 2015, will redefine the aquarium and further the
revitalization of Coney Island. A shimmering spiral ramp will wrap the building
from inside the aquarium campus to the boardwalk, where beachgoers will relax
in newly created gathering spaces. This 1,000-foot long dynamic wall will be
made of small aluminum squares that move with the wind and shimmer in the sunlight.
Inside, visitors will encounter a diverse group of sharks while connecting to
the waters and marine life in New York and around the globe.
“Ocean Wonders: Shark will
inspire New Yorkers to celebrate the city’s maritime heritage and attract more
visitors and business to Brooklyn’s oceanfront,” said Steve Sanderson, WCS
President and CEO. “WCS extends appreciation to all our partners of A Sea
Change, including Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, the New York City Department of
Cultural Affairs and Department of Parks and Recreation, the Mayor’s Office of
Economic Development, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, and
Councilman Domenic Recchia.
“We aim to fund this
renaissance by harnessing public and private support from all those who wish to
be leaders in this unprecedented effort to reinvent our city’s 114-year-old
Jon Forrest Dohlin, WCS Vice
President and Director of the New York Aquarium, added, “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.”
New York City Councilman Domenic
M. Recchia, Jr., whose district includes Coney Island, said, “This exciting new
shark exhibit will attract people from far and wide to visit the New York
Aquarium. 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: Shark is an important piece of our
ultimate goal -- establishing Coney Island as the biggest, best year-round
tourist destination in the world.”
The building design was
inspired by nature; its organic form derived from landforms carved by water.
Integral to the structure is the spiral ramp unveiling spectacular ocean views.
The ramp leads visitors to a roof deck with an interactive gathering space, a
water play sculpture area, and a touch tank featuring local species.
The species that will be on
exhibit in the building’s more than 500,000 gallons of water will include: sand
tiger sharks, nurse sharks, sandbar sharks, whitetip reef sharks, blacktip reef
sharks, wobbegong sharks, Port Jackson sharks, roughtail rays, clearnose
skates, thorny skates, cownose rays, loggerhead sea turtles, hawksbill sea
turtles, and thousands of schooling fish.
The building and the exhibit
designs of Ocean Wonders: Shark are a collaborative effort led by WCS’s
design team, the Exhibition and Graphic Arts Department; The Portico
Group, and the consultant team including Doyle Partnership. The Architect of
Record is New York City-based, Edelman Sultan Knox Wood. Ned Kahn, of
Sebastopol, CA, is the artist of the shimmer wall.
The New York
Aquarium, which dates back to 1896 and is Brooklyn’s top cultural attraction,
is the oldest continuously operating aquarium in the United States, with three
quarters of a million people visiting every year. It is an officially
designated Coastal Ecosystem Learning Center and a touchstone for science education
citywide. In 2010 alone, 15,590 children participated in formal education
programs at WCS’s New York Aquarium and nearly 142,160 schoolchildren visited
the aquarium as part of a school, a camp, or a youth group.
Contact: Barbara Russo - 718-265-3428; Cell: 917-494-5493; firstname.lastname@example.org Max Pulsinelli – 718-220-5182; Cell: 571-218-7601; email@example.comSteve Fairchild – 718-220-5189; 914-263-8179; firstname.lastname@example.org
The Wildlife Conservation
Society saves wildlife and wild
places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation, education and
the management of the world's largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by
the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards
nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is
committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on
Society's New York Aquarium opens
every day of the year at 10am, and closing times vary seasonally. Admission is
$13.00 for adults, $9.00 for children ages 3-12 and $10.00 for senior citizens
(65 and older); children under 3 years of age are admitted free. Fridays after
3pm, admission is by suggested donation. The aquarium is located on Surf Avenue
at West 8th Street in Coney Island. For directions, information on public
events and programs, and other aquarium information, call 718-265-FISH or visit
our web site at http://www.nyaquarium.com. Now is the perfect time to visit and
show support for the WCS New York Aquarium, Brooklyn's most heavily attended cultural
attraction and a beloved part of the City of New York.