Aquarium of the Pacific to reopen with new exhibits and safety guidelines – Daily News

on Jun13
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The Aquarium of the Pacific will reopen to the public on Sunday, June 14, and guests can expect to see some new additions — along with new safety guidelines.

A reimagined Tropical Pacific Gallery features new exhibits that explore coral reefs and the important role they play in the ecosystem.

The gallery, “Coral Reefs: Nature’s Underwater Cities,” explores the many coral reefs across the globe and the biodiversity they support, the threats they face, and what visitors can do to help save them.

A partial reopening on Friday and Saturday allowed for aquarium members to preview the new exhibit.

“Coral reefs are amazing habitats, ecosystems. They occupy less one tenth of one percent of the ocean floor, but they’re responsible for supporting 25 percent of all the the marine species,” said aquarium CEO Dr. Jerry Schubel. “They are sources of jobs, of livelihoods for people who live on remote islands. They protect low-lying islands from coastal storms. They’re sources of chemicals for modern medicines. And they are under intense pressure.”

The Aquarium also has a few new residents to see up close, including: a green sea turtle, flashlight fish and the seabird Animal Ambassador, Sula the red-footed booby.

New safety guidelines have been implemented to ensure the safety of visitors, which include requiring face masks, practicing social distancing and limiting party sizes to six people. Visitors will also have their temperatures checked upon arrival.

To reduce crowd size, the aquarium has also limited its number of visitors to 25 percent of maximum occupancy and entry times must be scheduled beforehand online.

“If it looks a bit empty in here its because we’re doing our best to follow the city’s guidelines,” Schubel said. “We’ve placed hand sanitizing stations around the aquarium so that guests are staying clean while they enjoy the exhibits. “

Schubel also said that the aquarium is working closely with the city to be able to reopen the Honda Pacific Visions Theater, but that the smaller theaters where enforcing distancing would be difficult will remain closed for now.

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