East End Seaport Museum aquarium to reopen following 2021 tank crack
A new East End aquarium is reopening more than two years after a major tank crack.
East End Seaport Museum executive director Tracey Orlando says they had planned to reopen in March 2021 after the pandemic has closed them down. She says when they were refilling a 30-year-old saltwater aquarium tank, a seam cracked open.
"The corner seam opened up, 750 gallons were now coming out onto the floors, our exhibits weren't together yet and it was quite devastating," Orlando says.
Orlando says the damage to the tank and the century-old mahogany wood floors would cost over $150,000 to fix. The museum did not have the money and insurance was not covering it.
It took two years to raise enough money to build a brand-new aquarium in the area.
Glenn Heidtmann, of Heidtmann & Sons Builders, says he was part of a crew that helped disassemble and rebuild a state-of-the-art modern aquarium tank that holds 900 gallons of water and features fish from the local waters of the East End.
"It's really nice to see a reset of something that is - has been here for a very long time, so it gives it a rejuvenation," Heidtmann says.
The aquarium will be just one of many exhibits at the East End Seaport Museum, which illustrates the area's maritime history.
The museum, which used to be a Long Island Railroad ticket booth, will also teach students about the area's history.
"We have a saying that if we want these kids to be part of our future, they certainly have to know about our past," Orlando says.
The museum will showcase and unveil the brand-new "Sea Life Exhibit Aquarium" during a special ceremony Thursday evening.