Sometimes it’s easy to forget that New York is a city of islands. It has 520 miles of coastline — more than Miami, Boston, Los Angeles, and San Francisco combined. Brooklyn alone, projecting outward from the Southwestern corner of Long Island, is mostly surrounded by water: the East River, the Upper and Lower New York Bay, Jamaica Bay, and the Atlantic Ocean.
Three things you might know about the waters surrounding Brooklyn:
1. The waters around Brooklyn are rich with marine life. In fact, they were once, like, buy-a-brownstone rich, with 12-inch oysters and six-foot lobsters.
2. Back when explorers like Giovanni da Verrazzano and Henry Hudson (of bridge and river fame, respectively) sailed into New York Harbor, sturgeon were so abundant that the fish were considered hazardous to boat passage.
3. Today, despite decades of unchecked use, the New York seascape still hosts everything from whales, to seals, to more than 338 species of fish.
Most New Yorkers don’t even think about this rich marine life living just off their shores. The New York Aquarium is trying to change that, helping residents and visitors understand these vital waters, and protecting them from growing threats, including expanded shipping, dredging, overfishing, and energy development.
Back on its feet (or flippers) after Hurricane Sandy, the aquarium is also working on transforming itself for the future, and you can be a part of it. Check out the plans, which include a thrilling new exhibit, Ocean Wonders: Sharks! You don’t have to be buy-a-brownstone rich to lend a hand. Donate today.