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Education: Estuarium

The Estuarium is a wet lab, public exhibit and learning space that offers hands-on programs in the urban ecology of New York Harbor and the larger Hudson River ecosystem. It operated as a community organization at Pier 26, Manhattan, in TriBeCa, from 1986 to 2005. The living exhibit consisted of a 3,500-gallon aquarium system displaying hundreds of Hudson River fishes and invertebrates.

The old Estuarium has been torn down as construction of the TriBeCa portion of Hudson River Park proceeds. The River Project is developing a proposal called City Fish, an outdoor aquarium exhibit of local plants and animals to go temporarily at Pier 26 when the decking is complete. City Fish would be a window to the underwater world close to the busy park esplanade, with animals residing in naturalistic aquaria integrated into the building walls, viewed from the outside by passers-by. The new exhibit would enable continuation of The River Project's public programs, which have for many years played an important role in the life of New York City, connecting people to the underwater world of our island neighborhoods.

The River Project's marine biology field station is temporarily located at Pier 40, north of Pier 26, which is under construction. We hope to move back to Pier 26 once it is complete. Meanwhile, The River Project will provide access to the lab without fees for those doing relevant research projects by advance appointment. The lab features an 1,800-gallon aquarium system of free-flowing brackish water from the Hudson River that varies in salinity with the changing hours and seasons. Numerous freshwater and marine vertebrates and invertebrates are represented there. An ongoing oyster research project takes place in three large experimental holding tanks. There is limited space and appointments must be scheduled in advance. To arrange a visit, please call (212) 233-3030 or e-mail chris@riverprojectnyc.org for an appointment.