Barbara Russo – 718- 265-3428; brusso@wcs.orgMax Pulsinelli - 718-220- 5182;; Steve Fairchild – 718- 220- 5189;

Photo Credits: All credited to Julie Larsen Maher © WCS

Construction Milestone – The Topping Out -- Celebrated at WCS New York Aquarium

Ocean Wonders: Sharks! Has Risen High, High Above the Coney Island Boardwalk

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Coney Island, NY – July 1, 2015 – The construction of a new exhibit at the WCS New York Aquarium, Ocean Wonders: Sharks!, has risen high above the Coney Island Boardwalk.

WCS and Turner Construction celebrated this past week “the topping out,” of the construction of Ocean Wonders: Sharks!, by raising the United States flag on the top floor of the building.

When the building opens in 2017, visitors on the top floor will see far across the Atlantic Ocean and up and down the Coney Island Boardwalk.

Ocean Wonders: Sharks! will be a conservation, education, and economic engine for Coney Island, and all of New York City,”  said Jon Forrest Dohlin, WCS Vice President and Director of the New York Aquarium. “We are building a new attraction for Coney Island that will bring hundreds of thousands of new visitors to the area.”

Added Sue Chin, WCS Vice President of Planning and Design & Chief Architect: “Ocean Wonders: Sharks! will be a new iconic structure in Coney Island that brings the ocean to the aquarium and the aquarium to the ocean.  We are at a stage in the construction where visitors to Coney Island will clearly see there is a great new change coming to the community.”

The 57,500-square-foot Ocean Wonders: Sharks! will highlight the wonders of oceans across the globe and off the coast of New York. The building will be a new destination for tourists, students, and local families interested in oceans and marine life.

The new exhibit will feature sharks, rays, sea turtles, and thousands of schooling fish. The exhibit will hold more than 500,000 gallons of water in fully immersive and interactive exhibits. It will forge connections between people and wildlife, while highlighting the need for conservation of delicate marine ecosystems.

The exhibit will feature the work of the NY Seascape, the aquarium’s conservation research and policy program, and work to educate and inform New Yorkers and visitors about the amazing ocean ecosystems that surround New York and the charismatic marine species that are found in local waters.

Led by Chin, the building and the exhibit are a collaboration between the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Design Department, The Portico Group, and their consultant team including Doyle Partners and Ned Kahn, the artist of the Shimmer Wall. The Architect of Record is a New York-based firm, Edelman, Sultan Knox Wood. The Construction Management firm is Turner Construction Company.

This project would not be possible without the leadership of the Mayor of the City of New York, the New York City Council, the Office of the Brooklyn Borough President, the Office of the Staten Island Borough President, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York City Economic Development Corporation as well as WCS Trustee Barbara Hrbek Zucker, Donald Zucker, and many other supporters.

Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) MISSION: WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. VISION: WCS envisions a world where wildlife thrives in healthy lands and seas, valued by societies that embrace and benefit from the diversity and integrity of life on earth. To achieve our mission, WCS, based at the Bronx Zoo, harnesses the power of its Global Conservation Program in more than 60 nations and in all the world’s oceans and its five wildlife parks in New York City, visited by 4 million people annually. WCS combines its expertise in the field, zoos, and aquarium to achieve its conservation mission. Visit:;;  Follow: @thewcs.

Wildlife Conservation Society's New York Aquarium is open every day of the year. Summer hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Fall/winter/spring hours are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., daily. Tickets are $11.95 per person (ages 3 & up), and include Aquarium admission plus one admission to the new 4-D Theater; children age 2 and under are admitted free. Fridays after 4 p.m. in the summer and after 3 p.m. in the fall, Aquarium admission is by pay-what-you-wish donation. The aquarium is located on Surf Avenue at West 8th Street in Coney Island. The New York Aquarium is located on property owned by the City of New York, and its operation is made possible in part by public funds provided through the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. For directions, information on public events and programs, and other aquarium information, call 718-265-FISH or visit our web site at Now is the perfect time to visit and show support for the WCS New York Aquarium, a beloved part of Brooklyn and all of the City of New York. Due to Hurricane Sandy we are partially opened. Check our website for more information.