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Shirlie Sharpe

New York Aquarium Hurricane Damage

By November 10, 2012

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Over the past two weeks, we've all have watched the news stories covering hurricane Sandy. This morning I watched a feature about the New York Aquarium that was sad and inspiring. Sandy didn't simply knock out the power there. Storm surge waters also breached the exhibits themselves, contaminating them with cold seawater. At one point water reached a level of 15 feet in the basement, taking out all the electrical equipment that keeps the 12,000 inhabitants alive and healthy.

Although tough to watch, I was impressed by the herculean efforts made by the aquarium staff. Thanks to their efforts nearly 90% of the aquarium inhabitants survived. Among the casualties were 150 Koi living in holding ponds outside the aquarium while their indoor exhibits were being renovated. All were lost when the storm surge swept them away. On the other end of the spectrum was the happy story of a three foot long American eel found very much alive in the bottom of a shower stall. Delighted workers promptly named him Lazarus.

I've heard that the Jenkinson's Aquarium in New Jersey was hard hit as well, but I have no details. If any of you have information about their status, please post a comment here to update us. Lastly, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) is accepting donations specifically for aquarium rebuilding. Visit their site for more information about what you can do to help.

Photo David Shankbone

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