We’re going to need bigger sharks: Coney aquarium to build massive ‘Ocean Wonders’ exhibit

We’re going to need bigger sharks: Coney aquarium to build massive ‘Ocean Wonders’ exhibit
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

Shark Week is coming to Brooklyn — and it’s going to last all year long.

More than $125 million has been set aside to build a massive New York Aquarium exhibit entitled, “Ocean Wonders: Sharks,” which they say will be home to more than 40 of the beloved sea predators, as well as 115 different species of fish, sea turtles, and rays.

The tank, which will be about the size of a football field, will be run by the Wildlife Conservation Society — Aquarium operators who will be pouring $34.4 million of private donations into the project on Surf Avenue and W. 5th Street.

A Wildlife Conservation Society spokeswoman said it was too soon to know what the largest shark in the exhibit will be, but ruled out that a great white will be swimming toward Coney Island, since the mammoth creatures are rarely found in captivity.

Borough boosters said the new shark tank will make Coney Island home to one of the most popular aquarium’s in the nation.

“Usually, the cry of ‘shark!’ means fewer visitors to the waterfront, but here in Brooklyn, it’ll mean more!” said Borough President Markowitz, who is pledging an additional $93.1 million in taxpayer funds to the project. “Atlanta, I want you to hear me: you’ve had your day.”

The new state-of-the-art tank will also add to Coney Island’s ongoing transformation into an upscale, year-round tourist destination when it opens in 2015, city officials say.

“We’re launching the next phase of Coney Island’s revival,” Mayor Bloomberg said on Thursday. “It will be the centerpiece.”

Construction on the tank is scheduled to begin in the fall.

Shark tank: Mayor Bloomberg, Borough President Markowitz, and Councilman Domenic Recchia announced on Thursday that a new, planned exhibit at the New York Aquarium will contain 40 sharks and cost more than $100 million.
Photo by Elizabeth Graham