Officials at the Oklahoma Aquarium announce the construction of their newest exhibit, The Polynesian Reef, coming late Summer 2018. The construction of this exhibit began shortly after the opening of Sea Turtle Island in March of 2017.
The Polynesian Reef exhibit will be the second largest exhibit at the Oklahoma Aquarium and will hold approximately 65,000 gallons of tropical saltwater. Visitors will walk into an exotic South Pacific coral reef surrounded by more than 500 colorful tropical fish with approximately 75 different species.
Along with beautiful fish, The Reef will be home to zebra sharks that were hatched at the Oklahoma Aquarium in November 2017, a giant humphead wrasse that can reach up to 400 pounds, and a rusted steel hull of a sunken ship that will be home to a giant moray eel.
The Polynesian reef exhibit promises to be the most diverse and colorful collection of fish in the Aquarium.
“There will be something to see in every crack and crevice of the reef” said Kenny Alexopoulos, COO of the Aquarium. “One of the most important fish that lives in the reef is the parrotfish, they eat living corals then process their hard skeletons producing the white sands commonly found on South Pacific beaches—a large parrotfish can produce up to 850 pounds of sand every year.”
Corals thrive in shallow water where enough sunlight can reach their polyps to catch energy from the sun. Since the 1980’s, increased water temperature has caused many corals to bleach or become unhealthy, but we can all make a difference and help protect important reef systems. This new exhibit will celebrate the reef habitat and highlight their importance to the health of our oceans and the planet as a whole.