A new interactive exhibit under development at the Aquarium of Niagara will give visitors the chance to have a more interactive experience with sharks, stingrays and a variety of marine invertebrates.
Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul joined officials from the aquarium and M&T Bank on Friday in offering a first look at plans for the new "Shark and Ray Bay." Once completed, the new exhibit will provide a hands-on experience where visitors can meet and engage with a variety of marine animals. Construction is expected to be completed by the summer of 2020.
"I've been coming to the Aquarium my entire life, and I've seen its transformation that continues to boost #WNY tourism," Hochul said in a comment on her Twitter account.
Funding for the $1.85 million Bank Shark & Ray Bay is being provided by presenting sponsor M&T Bank, state-run Empire State Development Corp., Niagara County Industrial Development Agency, John R. Oishei Foundation, City of Niagara Falls and Niagara Aquarium Foundation Board of Trustees.
The project marks the third major upgrade the aquarium has undertaken in the past three years. The other two major projects include the Penguin Coast and Aliens of the Sea exhibits.
During a press conference on Friday, representatives from the aquarium offered a look at renderings for the new Shark and Ray Bay and an in-tank diver offered a look at the exhibit's logo. Guests, including Hochul, were invited to interact with shark eggs, marine animal jaws and teeth.
The new exhibit will join the aquarium’s diverse range of more than 120 species, which includes penguins, marine mammals, reptiles and amphibians.