People yelling “Shark!” at Coney Island will soon be a good thing now that NYC and the Wildlife Conservation Society have teamed up with The Portico Group to build an amazing new exhibition building at the New York Aquarium in Coney Island called “Ocean Wonders: Sharks!” The 57,000 square foot space will feature more than 100 different species of marine life, and tons of interactive and educational exhibits highlighting the local seascape and how to protect New York’s precious beaches and waters. The shark center breaks ground next month and is expected to open in 2015 as part of a larger campaign to revitalize tourism at Coney Island. Knowing Mayor Bloomberg and his dedication to going green, we are expecting to see some sustainable and ocean-friendly features in the coming design details.

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The “Ocean Wonders” exhibition building will not only be tons of fun for families and visitors, but will also double as a state of the art research facility for shark preservation studies. The Portico Group, known throughout the country for developing some of the greatest aquarium and zoo spaces, will fill over 500,000 gallons of water with sharks, rays, sea turtles, and dozens of schools of fish.

Plans for the building’s facade, unveiled yesterday, will also make the new center shine on the Coney Island boardwalk. Giant aluminum “flappers” will stretch across the building like gills, shimmering in the sun and reflecting the ocean waves. Coney Island will also see new retail areas, housing, and over $100 million in reconstruction over the next three years in order to rejuvenate  beachside tourism and develop hundreds of new jobs for locals.

images © nycmayorsoffice flickr