Brooklyn residents and visitors can get close-up glimpses of the region’s most mysterious inhabitants at Underwater Wildlife New York, a photo exhibit now underway at Brooklyn Bridge Park that showcases the region’s most fascinating marine species.
The Underwater Wildlife New York exhibition features rarely seen underwater views of an astonishing variety of local marine species from Montauk, NY, to Cape May, NJ. The exhibit also highlights the efforts of scientists at the WCS’s New York Aquarium to study and raise awareness of the conservation needs of local marine wildlife and their habitats.
The outdoor photographic display spanning 350 feet features nearly 50 images and takes viewers on a visual journey to reveal the extraordinary life hidden beneath the waves. The show also relates stories about some of these species, ranging from tiny corals and elusive seahorses nearshore to behemoth ocean sunfish that ply the waters above the astounding Hudson Canyon. Blue and mako sharks, both featured in the exhibit, are also the subjects of marine research by New York Aquarium scientists.
The images of Underwater Wildlife New York were all captured by Keith Ellenbogen, an acclaimed underwater photographer who works in collaboration with WCS’s New York Aquarium. Ellenbogen, an assistant professor of Photography at the Fashion Institute of Technology, has cumulatively spent more than 500 hours capturing images of local marine life above and below the surface. His work also highlights the conservation work of the aquarium’s New York Seascape Program.
“I have photographed marine life around the globe, but the underwater world off New York and New Jersey is one of the most extraordinary and challenging places I’ve worked,” said Ellenbogen.
“The waters of New York and New Jersey are among the most diverse and productive marine ecosystems in the world,” said Dr. Merry Camhi, Director of WCS’s New York Seascape Program, the New York Aquarium’s conservation initiative focusing on the region’s coastal waters. “Only a fraction of the region’s 22 million coastal residents are aware of its unique and diverse ecology. Keith’s images will help spread awareness of the diversity of life found off our shores, some within a stone’s throw of the city.”
Researchers for WCS’s New York Seascape program currently monitor and study sharks and several other species living in New York Bight, the region located between New Jersey’s Cape May and Long Island’s Montauk Point. The program is also dedicated to restoring populations of American eels and alewife herring to the Bronx River, New York City’s last remaining freshwater river.
The diverse marine life and natural wonders of the region’s local waters will be featured in an upcoming exhibit titled Ocean Wonders: Sharks, a 57,000-square-foot exhibit building now under construction at WCS’s New York Aquarium in Coney Island.