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"Prospect.3: Notes…

Oct 30, 2014 - Jan 25, 2015
Prospect New Orleans, the International Contemporary Art Biennial,  will… more

Andrew Jackson: Hero…

Oct 30, 2014 - Mar 29, 2015
THNOC's exhibition tracks Jackson's rise from humble beginnings to immortality… more

Brahms and Bartok

Oct 30 - 30, 2014
Join the LPO for a symphonic tour of Eastern Europe! The journey begins with… more

Crawloween at …

Oct 30 - 31, 2014
Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium invites guests to celebrate Halloween… more

Crescent City…

Oct 30 - 30, 2014
Join us for live traditional Jazz entertainment. more

Friends of the…

Oct 30 - 31, 2014
Friends of the Cabildo, support organization for the Louisiana State Museum,… more

Greater Baton Rouge…

Oct 30 - Nov 2, 2014
Carnival rides, food, music, kids' activities, animal shows, games, exhibits. more

Jazz in the Park

Oct 30 - 30, 2014
Jazz in the Park returns for nine straight weeks this fall,  with a… more

Jazz in the Park…

Oct 30 - 30, 2014
Jazz in the Park returns for nine straight weeks this fall,  with a… more

Krewe of Boo- New…

Oct 30 - 30, 2014
The Krewe of Boo Halloween night parade will have several elaborate theme… more

Maple Leaf Bar…

Oct 30 - 30, 2014
Join us for live entertainment featuring Oteil Burbridge, Nicholas Payton,… more

New Orleans Halloween…

Oct 30 - Nov 1, 2014
If you thought that the only time of the year for great entertainment in New… more

People United for…

Oct 30 - 30, 2014
People United for Armstrong Park will be hosting a "Halloween Costume… more

Sacred to the Memory…

Oct 30 - Nov 17, 2014
Showcasing both the historic Hermann-Grima House museum and St. Louis Cemetery… more

Southern Rep presents…

Oct 30 - Nov 2, 2014
In a remote cabin deep in the woods, an old crone spins a spellbinding tale… more

The End is Near: The…

Oct 30 - Nov 1, 2014
The House of Shock Haunted House and Halloween Festival launches its final… more

THE GUANTÁNAMO PUBLIC…

Oct 30 - 30, 2014
This traveling exhibit examines the history of the U.S. naval base in… more

The Mysterious…

Oct 30 - Nov 23, 2014
You are invited to the Mysterious Wisterias Plantation for an evening of music… more

The Victory Belles…

Oct 30 - Nov 19, 2014
Noted for their close harmonies and synchronized dance steps, the Andrews… more

The Victory Belles…

Oct 30, 2014 - Jun 24, 2015
Noted for their close harmonies and synchronized dance steps, the Andrews… more

"Prospect.3: Notes…

Oct 30, 2014 - Jan 25, 2015
Prospect New Orleans, the International Contemporary Art Biennial,  will… more

Great Maya Reef to Open at Audubon Aquarium of the Americas

For immediate release 

February 25, 2014
Contact: Katie Smith
Office 504-378-2693
Cell 504-278-0542
ksmith@auduboninstitute.org

Great Maya Reef to Open at
Audubon Aquarium of the Americas

 Caribbean Reef exhibit transforms into an ancient underwater world
Saturday, March 8, 2014 

(New Orleans, La.) - Finishing touches are underway to the $1 million, 4200 square-foot Great Maya Reef exhibit at Audubon Aquarium of the Americas. Opening on Saturday, March 8, 2014, the new exhibit completely transforms the entrance of the Aquarium into a great, submerged Maya city of the Yucatan peninsula - a Meso-American reef whose magnitude is second only to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

Walking though the 30-foot-long tunnel into the underwater world of the ancient, flooded Maya metropolis, visitors can imagine themselves immersed in the middle of mysterious, rusticated ruins deep below the ocean's surface, surrounded by exotic sea creatures that thrive near one world's largest reefs.

"We know guests are going to love how we've transformed this exhibit," said Audubon President and CEO Ron Forman. "And we have more to come, with a number of expansive and innovative projects underway across all our Audubon attractions. It's an exciting time for Audubon and for everyone who visits us."
 
Visitors begin their underwater adventure through the Great Maya Reef, exploring the ruins of a submerged Maya city of mysterious ruins. Surrounded by lion fish, yellowtail snapper, moray eels, spiny lobsters and much more, guests engage with immersive exhibitry including:

After Dark
Day and night are two completely different worlds in the coral reef. Lively daytime activity fades into the domain of creatures thriving in the mysterious shadows of night.  Fish such as the highhat spend days hanging out in caves, coming out to feed at night. Fish like the reef squirrelfish peek out from small crevices in their search for food.  At nearly 6 feet tall and enhanced by corals and sponges, AFTER DARK is a rare opportunity to explore a world seldom seen by humans.
 
Artificial Reef
Coral reefs are critical to the health of the oceans. Corals and sponges colonize man-made objects such as oil platforms and sunken ships, taking advantage of solid "footing" these structures provide, along with the clear water and optimal warm temperatures.  This exhibit is nearly 12 feet long and features a representation of Maya stone stairs. The incredible Caribbean spiny lobster lives here, using extra-long antennae to walk in single-file lines across open areas before settling in the shelter of the reef. The reef will also be home to yellowhead wrasse, surgeonfish, and bluehead wrasse.   

Alien Invaders
This cylindrical exhibit, 96 inches in diameter, is home to the unmistakable lionfish. The beautiful and hypnotic lionfish may be fascinating to see, but it's wreaking havoc throughout the Caribbean. Originally from the tropical Pacific, the introduction of lionfish to the Caribbean edges out native species. The lionfish is one of the most successful of the reef's alien invaders.  While destructive, with painful toxins loaded in hollow spines, there is no argument about the grace and beauty of the lionfish.
 
At Depth
As light travels to the ocean floor, it diffuses and loses intensity, supporting fish different from their sunnier counterparts.  This exhibit features a replica of a worn Maya wall and sponges such as the Convoluted orange sponge and the brown tube sponge. While these and other creatures seem strange to us, they are perfectly adapted to deeper water, sometimes boasting larger eyes and distinctive markings. Reef butterflyfish find their food in tight spaces between rocks, while the big-eyed cardinalfish, really red in coloration, looks completely black in deep water as the red wavelength of sunlight filters out on its way through the water. These deeper-water fish give us a compelling look at the persistence of life in extreme conditions.
 
King Copán
This is a cylindrical exhibit, 8 feet tall and 8 feet in diameter, beautifully embellished with a sunken Maya stone statue. It is home to the unforgettable and impressive green moray eel, which, as a sedentary predator, spends much of its time tucked between rocks waiting for prey. While it may look as if it is showing its sharp teeth in a threatening manner, the eel opens and closes its mouth to bring in water for oxygen.

Thematic lighting and interactive elements including state-of-the-art digital touchscreen graphics complete this spectacular experience for a perfect transition to the climb to the Amazon Rainforest Canopy.  
 

CLICK HERE FOR PRESS KIT WITH IMAGES


Audubon Aquarium of the Americas
Tickets to Audubon Aquarium of the Americas are $22.50 for adults, $16.00 for children and $17.00 for seniors.  Admission is free for Audubon Nature Institute members. Advanced tickets are recommended and can be purchased by visiting AudubonInstitute.org or at any Audubon Nature Institute attractions.  Audubon Aquarium of the Americas is located at 1 Canal Street, New Orleans, LA 70130.

 

 

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Audubon Nature Institute is a 501(c)3 not for profit that operates a family of museums and parks dedicated to nature. These New Orleans facilities include: Audubon Park, Audubon Zoo, Woldenberg Riverfront Park, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center, Entergy IMAX® Theatre, Audubon Center for Research of Endangered Species, Audubon Louisiana Nature Center, Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium and Audubon Nature Institute Foundation. Ron Forman is President and CEO of Audubon Nature Institute.

 

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