"Growing corals... preserve these fragile eco systems while educating the public about coral reefs in the wild," said WCS Vice President and New York Aquarium director Jon Forrest Dohlin.
Due to disturbances like climate change and unchecked coastal development nearly one-third of the world’s coral reefs have been lost. Some estimates predict corals will be extinct by 2050. So, the aquarium is growing its own.
With names like “xenia” and “pink bird’s nest,” the aquarium lab grows between 25-30 different species which produce hundreds of colorful hard and soft corals.
The slow-forming corals, which are grown from tiny fragments, may take two to four years to mature. Aquarium staff start the growing process by creating their own filtered water, sometimes adding just the right mix of salt and calcium to the tanks.
Visitors can see the corals in the aquarium’s Conservation Hall and Glover’s Reef exhibits.
The aquarium is located at Surf Ave. at West 8th St. in Coney Island and opens at 10 a.m. daily.
For information, call (718) 265-FISH or visit their website at http://www.nyaquarium.com.