New England Aquarium
The New England Aquarium is an aquarium located in Boston, Massachusetts. In addition to the main aquarium building, attractions at the New England Aquarium include the Simons IMAX Theatre and the New England Aquarium Whale Watch, which operates from April through November. The aquarium has more than 22,000 members and hosts more than 1.3 million visitors each year.
-- From Wikipedia
Planning for the aquarium began in 1962, with the principal designer being Peter Chermayeff of Cambridge Seven Associates. The building was opened to the public in 1969. The Giant Ocean Tank opened in 1970, and at the time was the largest circular ocean tank in the world.
In 1974, a multi-storied barge, Discovery, was moored next to the Aquarium. It served as a floating mammal pavilion for the aquarium as the lack of land limited the aquarium's ability for expansion. This 1,000-seat observer stadium overlooked a 116,000-US-gallon (440,000 l; 97,000 imp gal) pool. It hosted dolphins, until the mid-1990s, and sea lions, until the ship's decommissioning. Discovery was officially retired in the mid-2000s due to its old age and high cost of maintenance.
The new West Wing was completed in 1998 by Schwartz/Silver Architects. The glass and steel addition includes the harbor seal exhibit on the public plaza, ticketing booth, changing exhibit galleries, gift shop, cafe, and lobby.
In 1999 the aquarium opened a new rehabilitation center for harbor porpoises in Duxbury, Massachusetts. The facility includes a 29,000-US-gallon (110,000 l; 24,000 imp gal) rehabilitation tank that can house three porpoises at a time.
The 428 seat Matthew and Marcia Simons IMAX Theatre opened in 2001 in a separate building designed by E. Verner Johnson and Associates. The six-story high screen is 85 feet (26 m) wide by 65 feet (20 m) high, and its projector can show both 2D and 3D movies.
In 2003 the aquarium opened "Amazing Jellies", a $1.9 million, twelve-tank jellyfish exhibit emphasizing that jellyfish are survivors and are actually likely to increase with climate change.
In 2006, the aquarium earned full accreditation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).
In 2009, the New Balance Foundation Marine Mammal Center opened. This open-air exhibit lets visitors view the aquarium's Northern fur seals.
In 2010, the Animal Care Center opened. This 23,000-square-foot (2,100 m) off-site facility in Quincy, Massachusetts, includes holding space for animals during exhibit renovations, quarantine space for new arrivals, and is home to the marine animal rescue and rehabilitation center.
In 2013, the Aquarium reopened the Giant Ocean Tank after a ten-month renovation. The new Giant Ocean Tank features a new reef designed to represent a pre-Columbian Caribbean reef, new lighting with the reflective dome, and better views with the new viewing windows along the tank. Additionally, the number of fish in the tank has increased from 800 to 2,000 and number of species has increased from 90 to 140.
-- From Wikipedia
Located in the central open atrium of the main building, the principal feature of the Aquarium is the Giant Ocean Tank, a cylindrical 200,000-US-gallon (760,000 l) tank simulating a Caribbean coral reef. This tank houses sharks, sea turtles, stingrays, eels, barracuda, and many smaller reef-living fish. Open at the top, the concrete tank is surrounded by a walkway that spirals down, allowing visitors access to 52 windows that offer views of the reef from every angle and level.
At the bottom, the tank stands in a large, square 150,000-US-gallon (570,000 l) penguin exhibit, hosting African penguins, Northern and Southern rockhopper penguins and little penguins. The penguin exhibit can be seen from the spiral walkway of the central tank or from elevated viewing areas that completely surround the perimeter. The penguins live on several artificial rock islands in the exhibit. Surrounding the atrium are four levels of smaller exhibits including:
- The Thinking Gallery, also known as the Temperate Gallery, featuring Goliath grouper, ancient fishes, rare sea dragons, coastal environments, and thousands of schooling fish.
- The Freshwater Gallery focuses on freshwater habitats in South America compared to New England river systems. This gallery features piranhas, anacondas, electric eels, and Atlantic salmon.
- The Edge of the Sea tide pool. Visitors are allowed to touch New England tide pool animals including sea stars, sea urchins, snails, hermit crabs, and horseshoe crabs.
- The Northern Waters of the World Gallery focuses on New England marine habitats compared to Pacific Northwest habitats. The gallery features shorebirds, colored lobsters, goosefish, Octopus, and countless other invertebrates.
- The Tropical Gallery features many colorful tropical fish, cuttlefish, venomous fish including Pterois, scorpionfish, and living corals.
- The Blue Planet Action Center presents the challenges the oceans are facing and shows the Aquarium's role in the search for solutions. It also features the life cycles of sharks and lobsters.
- The Yawkey Coral Reef Center magnifies some of the smaller creatures in the Caribbean environments. The Reef features batfishes, heterocongrinae, and Diadema antillarum.
In front of the Aquarium is a harbor seal exhibit, which can be seen for free without entering the building. Five Northern fur seals and two California sea lions are on exhibit behind the Aquarium in the open-air New Balance Foundation Marine Mammal Center on the harborside terrace, which opened in 2009 with views of Boston Harbor. All the New England Aquarium's marine mammals participate in daily training sessions that are open for public viewing and participation.
The "Amazing Jellies" exhibit in the West Wing features Aurelia aurita, sea nettles, Cassiopea, Palauan Lagoon jellies and Phyllorhiza punctata, all from diverse habitats around the world. In 2011, the Trust Family Foundation Shark and Ray Touch Tank opened in the West Wing. At 25,000 US gallons (95,000 l), it is the largest on the east coast. Some of the species in the exhibit include cownose rays, yellow rays and guitarfish. It is a permanent exhibit that will allow for more interaction between the animals and the visitors.
-- From Wikipedia