New Yorkers are now engaging with the region’s most mysterious inhabitants at Underwater Wildlife New York, an exhibit underway at Brooklyn Bridge Park by acclaimed underwater photographer Keith Ellenbogen that showcases images of the most fascinating marine species found off the shores of New York.
The outdoor exhibition features large format photos offering rarely-seen underwater views of an astonishing variety of local marine species in the New York Bight – an area from Montauk, NY to Cape May, NJ. The show, exhibited directly beneath the iconic Brooklyn Bridge, highlights the efforts of scientists at the Wildlife Conservation Society‘s New York Aquarium to study and raise awareness of the conservation needs of local marine wildlife and their habitats.
The outdoor photographic display features nearly 50 images (several of which are included here) and takes viewers on a visual journey to reveal the extraordinary life hidden beneath the waves – from tiny corals and elusive seahorses nearshore to behemoth ocean sunfish that ply the waters above the Hudson Canyon, an offshore gorge the size of the Grand Canyon teeming with fantastic biodiversity.
Photographer Ellenbogen has cumulatively spent more than 500 hours capturing images of local ocean species above and below the ocean’s surface. “I have photographed marine life around the globe,” notes Ellenbogen, “but the underwater world off New York and New Jersey is one of the most extraordinary and challenging places I’ve worked.”
Adds Dr. Merry Camhi, Director of the WCS New York Aquarium’s New York Seascape program, a conservation initiative focusing on the region’s coastal and off-shore waters, “The waters of New York and New Jersey are among the most diverse and productive marine ecosystems in the world.”
Ellenbogen’s images are intended to spread awareness of the diversity of life found off the shores of New York, some within a stone’s throw of the city. Blue and mako sharks, both featured in the exhibit, are also the subjects of marine research by scientists at the New York Aquarium.
Researchers for the New York Seascape program currently monitor these and other species living in New York Bight. 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 extraordinary, diverse marine life just off New York City’s shores will be featured in an upcoming New York Aquarium exhibit, Ocean Wonders: Sharks!, a 57,000-square-foot exhibit building now under construction in Coney Island.
Keith Ellenbogen’s exhibit, “Underwater Wildlife New York,” will remain at Brooklyn Bridge Park through June 13, 2017.