A ribbon-cutting celebration marked a monumental milestone for the New York Aquarium, now fully reopen for the first time since Superstorm Sandy walloped Coney Island.
Friday's grand reopening of its public exhibits also ushered in the opening of Sea Change, the aquarium's newest exhibit focused on "our changing climate and the effect it has on marine ecosystems and ocean life."
Sea Change is the final public exhibit to open back up after suffering storm damage back in 2012. That October, Sandy's floodwaters caused extensive damage that required a partnership between the city, state and FEMA to rebuild the aquarium over the past decade.
The aquarium was forced to close for seven months after Sandy hit.
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Throughout the aquarium's restoration and rebuild, plans were implemented to keep its infrastructure and animals protected in the face of future devastating storms.
“Not only have we now fully reopened our exhibits, but we have also upgraded much of the aquarium’s infrastructure and critical systems to ensure we are better prepared to withstand future storms," the aquarium's interim director, Craig Piper, said.
The museum's rebuild plans included moving water pumps, filters and critical life support systems above flood level. The aquarium has also installed generators to prevent power outages.