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New York Aquarium

The New York Aquarium is located on Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York. It opened at its current site in 1957 but operated at another site starting from 1896 making it the longest operating aquarium in the US.

The zoo is operated by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) which also operates Bronx Zoo, Queens Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo and Central Park Zoo.



Meet the zoo’s California sea lions as they demonstrate the relationship which they have with their keepers that helps to keep them stimulated.

4-D theatre

In this experience you no longer just watch a 3-D movie you experience it due to built in sensory effects.



New York,

United States

Year Opened


Land Size

5.7ha (14 acres)

Number of Species



Originally the New York Aquarium was situated at Castle Garden in Battery Park opening on December 10, 1896. This means that it is the United States longest continually operating aquarium.

6 years later its care was taken over by the New York Zoological Society. At the time it housed 150 species but under director Charles Haskins Townsend its collection was greatly expanded. He went on to lead the aquarium for 30 years.

October 1941 saw the aquarium closed due to a tunnel being constructed which may undermine its foundations. Most of the animals moved to the Bronx Zoo while a new aquarium was worked on.

World War II halted progress though so it was not until June 6, 1957 that construction at the current site on Coney Island was complete and the animals could make the move. This new aquarium was built at a cost of $9 million.

When Hurricane Sandy hit New York from October to November 2012 it caused major damage to the aquarium. Numerous buildings were damaged and the aquarium closed for a brief period of time. When it reopened two buildings remained closed. These are being reconstructed and will re-open in the next few years.

In the summer of 2018 the aquarium opened the Donald Zucker and Barbara Hrbek Zucker Ocean Wonders: Sharks! exhibit. This new area features rays, turtles, fish and sharks.

The Ocean Wonders: Sharks! exhibit was first planned to begin construction in 2012 and open in 2015. The effects of Sandy delayed this to 2018.

The aquarium was closed for four months in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

When they reopened in July 2020 the new Spineless area opened.

Main Exhibits

Sea Cliffs

The sea cliffs exhibit is home to the aquarium’s larger animals such as penguins, seals, sea lions and sea otters who live along a simulated rocky coastline which resembles their wild habitat.

Donald Zucker and Barbara Hrbek Zucker Ocean Wonders: Sharks!

Ocean Wonders: Sharks! is home of over 100 of the aquarium’s marine species including some of their most impressive. Opened in 2018 you can see sanbar, tiger, nurse and blacktip reef sharks along with rays, fish and sea turtles.

Conservation Hall

The conservation hall includes exhibits for moray eels and cownose rays. A favorite exhibit for guests is the Glover’s Reef display which offers a view of colorful marine life typically only available to snorkeler’s.


The spineless exhibit introduces guests to animals which lack a backbone from under the ocean. This includes giant pacific octopus, jellyfish, sea nettles, crabs and cuttlefish.


New York Aquarium Website – –

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