• WCS’s New York Aquarium Partners with New York Cares and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz for Annual Coat Drive Coat Donors to Receive Free Ticket for Next Visit to WCS’s New York Aquarium

NEW YORK, NY – (December 3, 2009) – While the sea lions, penguins and other animals at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s New York Aquarium naturally adapt to the cold weather, there are some New Yorkers who need some help getting through the winter.
This year, the Wildlife Conservation Society’s New York Aquarium is partnering with New York Cares and the Brooklyn Borough President for the annual New York Cares Coat Drive.

“The Wildlife Conservation Society is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and New York Cares to give back to the community,” said Jon F. Dohlin, Aquarium Director. “The New York Cares Coat Drive is a truly worthy cause and we are proud to have a hand in helping make the winter months more comfortable for New Yorkers in need of a helping hand.”
Throughout the month of December, WCS’s New York Aquarium will serve as a collection point for New York Cares’ annual winter coat drive.  Last year New York Cares collected for Brooklyn 16,105 coats which were distributed to 73 agencies throughout Brooklyn.

“The greatest gift is giving, and this year we’re making an even bigger “splash”— partnering with the leadership and staff of the New York Aquarium, who are attentive not only to the needs of their well-tended fish and aquatic life, but their Brooklyn neighbors and community as well,” said Marty Markowitz, Brooklyn Borough President.  “We say ‘Hats On!’ to NY Cares and the New York Aquarium!”
Visitors to WCS’s New York Aquarium can bring new and/or gently used coats for women, men, children, and infants to the drop-off point at the aquarium for distribution people in need citywide by New York Cares.

“The efforts of Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and WCS’s New York Aquarium will help us provide a lifeline for families in need and thousands of other New Yorkers who would otherwise not have a warm coat for the winter,” said Gary Bagley, New York Cares Executive Director. “The economic crisis has hit low-income families especially hard, so the need for coats will be especially great this year. We appreciate WCS’ generosity in offering free tickets to the aquarium as an added incentive to people who give coats at the New York Aquarium.”

As a thank you to all who donate a coat at the aquarium, the Wildlife Conservation Society will give each donor a free admission ticket for their next visit to the aquarium.

*Free ticket offer limited to 4 free tickets per family.  Tickets are valid from January 1 through December 31, 2010.
An additional drop-off point for coats can be found at Brooklyn Borough Hall, 209 Joralemon Street, Brooklyn, NY.

Max Pulsinelli - mpulsinelli@wcs.org, 718-220-5182
Fran Hacket - fhackett@wcs.org, 718-265-3428

About New York Cares is New York City’s largest volunteer organization. Founded in 1987, New York Cares runs volunteer programs at 1,000 nonprofits, public schools, and city agencies to help meet the critical needs of people living in poverty. The New York Cares Coat Drive, presented by Health Plus, takes place from December 1 – 31 each year and has collected and distributed more than 1.3 million coats for New Yorkers in need since 1989. New York Cares hopes to collect 70-80,000 coats during December, 2009. For more information, please visit www.newyorkcares.org.

The New York Aquarium
, A Wildlife Conservation Society park, opens every day of the year at 10am, and closing times vary seasonally. Admission is $13.00 for adults, and $9.00 for children ages 3-12 years old and $10.00 for senior citizens (65 and older); children under 3 years of age are admitted free. Admission by donation on Fridays from 3pm until closing. 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 www.nyaquarium.com. Now is the perfect time to visit and show support for the New York Aquarium, Brooklyn’s most heavily attended attraction and a beloved part of the City of New York.

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 Earth.