The Long Island Aquarium is soliciting donations via GoFundMe to assist them during the coronavirus pandemic. The aquarium is currently closed to the public per the New York state mandate and the attempt to slow the spread of the illness, eliminating approximately 60,000 visitors and incoming revenue during this time of the closure. The fundraising page can be found here: gf.me/u/xrxtsd.
With a collection of thousands of unique species to feed, the aquarium must keep operations going to sustain all the animals in the collection. Their team of skilled and trained animal caretakers are considered essential employees who report to work each day on split shifts to feed, provide medication, ensure life support is maintained and care and clean for all the animal’s habitats. As an aquarium, they have tanks that run on electricity all day and night with most tanks being chilled and others being heated to meet the species’ needs. As a privately owned facility, they are not eligible for government funding, or discounts from the utility companies, they must generate revenue to continue critical routine operations.
The aquarium continues to help support the New York Marine Rescue Center, which is a hospital located in the Aquarium facility. The Rescue Center currently houses 30 endangered sea turtles and five seals all who have been brought to the facility for urgent and prolonged care. For 20 years, the aquarium has assisted the NY Marine Rescue Center (formerly known as the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation) and 50 percent of GoFundMe donations received will go to the center for the care of these injured and sick animals.
The Long Island Aquarium’s GoFundMe campaign, launched on March 20, has reached 5 percent of their goal of $25,000. Those generous donations from the community will help with the approximately $18,000 per week expenses for animal care.