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Art is the Driving…

Dec 2 - 30, 2016
Art has a power that reaches beyond personal visual expression. This exhibition… more

Celebration in the…

Dec 02, 2016 - Jan 01, 2017
City Park's annual holiday lighting exhibit and festival returns with one of… more

Christian Marclay's…

Dec 2 - 4, 2016
THE CLOCK by Christian Marclay comes to New Orleans! Never before exhibited in… more

Christmas New Orleans…

Dec 2 - 31, 2016
There's no place like New Orleans for the holidays during Christmas New Orleans… more

Clarence John…

Dec 02, 2016 - Mar 25, 2017
A Louisiana native, Clarence John Laughlin (1905 - 1985) ranks among the most… more

David Hansen's Garden…

Dec 02, 2016
Since 2006, Hansen's Garden District Jazz Trio has performed every night at… more

Exhibition to feature…

Dec 02, 2016 - Mar 25, 2017
 The Historic New Orleans Collection will open its next exhibition,… more

French Ciné-Club

Dec 02, 2016
All films are shown in French with English subtitles See the progran online:… more

Friday: First Friday…

Dec 2 - 2, 2016
As part of its ongoing 50th anniversary celebrations, THNOC is offering First… more

Happier Hour Wine…

Dec 02, 2016 - Jun 30, 2017
Each week, we feature several wines from around the world along with small… more

Historic New Orleans…

Dec 02, 2016 - Apr 09, 2017
The Historic New Orleans Collection is gearing up for an exciting new… more

Holiday Home and…

Dec 2 - 31, 2016
Just in time for the holiday season, The Historic New Orleans Collection will… more

Holiday Movies on the…

Dec 2 - 16, 2016
The Downtown Development District and Riverwalk present three weekends of free… more

House of Blues…

Dec 2 - 30, 2016
Every Friday join us in the Voodoo Garden for live music, beer and drink… more

Jambalaya, the Musical

Dec 2 - 3, 2016
‘JAMBALAYA, the MUSICAL’ , a new musical by award-winning creator… more

Jefferson Performance…

Dec 2 - 11, 2016
The Ultimate Christmas Show (Abridged) is a fast paced, hysterical, whimsical… more

Little Gem Saloon…

Dec 2 - 2, 2016
Join us for some great music featuring David L. Harris, Victor Atkins, Jasen… more

Metaphysical Madness

Dec 2 - 2, 2016
Friday December 2nd, The show will host The XL Mediums, Sid Patrick & Lana… more

Miracle on Fulton…

Dec 2 - 24, 2016
NOV 22 – DEC 24 Hourly Snowfall 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. Gingerbread… more

Napoléon: General.…

Dec 02, 2016 - Jan 07, 2017
M.S. Rau Antiques will host a comprehensive exhibition Napoléon:… more

Art is the Driving…

Dec 2 - 30, 2016
Art has a power that reaches beyond personal visual expression. This exhibition… 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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