New York is a world-class city with more than 22 million people living within a few miles of the ocean: from Montauk Point, New York, to the Battery at the southern tip of Manhattan, to Cape May, New Jersey. Yet, despite the popularity of the coastline, we lag far behind other U.S. coastal cities when it comes to ocean awareness. Indeed, underwater habitats and marine wildlife in the region remain largely unknown and under-explored. It is time to embrace the salty waters that have supported this metropolitan area for centuries.
Underwater Wildlife New York–a joint project of the New York Aquarium with underwater photographer Keith Ellenbogen–visually introduces the public to the amazing, and sometimes surprising, diversity of life in our local waters. Through his lens, we help the public see the ecological riches such as the sharks, whales, corals, and birds we are working to protect.
The exhibition presents awe-inspiring images from New York waters, and its goal is to use the art of photography to build public awareness and spark ocean stewardship.
Featuring: Keith Ellenbogen
Curated by: Merry Camhi and Keith Ellenbogen
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Keith Ellenbogen is a celebrated underwater photographer working with conservation-based organizations to showcase the visual complexity of underwater environments. Through his photography, Keith seeks to evoke a sense of discovery of fantastical creatures, to captivate our imagination and create intimate, personal connections that inspire positive social change.
Keith is an Assistant Professor of Photography at SUNY/Fashion Institute of Technology, Visiting Artist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sea Grant, Senior Fellow, International League of Conservation Photographers, Fellow, The Explorers Club, Affiliate Partner, Mission Blue–A Sylvia Earle Alliance, recipient of a U.S. Fulbright Fellowship, and the Ernest F. Hollings Ocean Awareness Award to raise environmental awareness through the art of photography.
The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and by inspiring people to value nature.
To achieve this goal, WCS harnesses the power of its Global Conservation Program in sixty nations, and in all the world’s oceans, and through its five wildlife parks in New York City. One of the five parks is the New York Aquarium, which introduced New Yorkers to the wonders of the ocean in 1896 when it was based in Battery Park, and then moved to Coney Island in 1957.
The issues facing local marine wildlife, and the habitats of New York and New Jersey, remain significant and challenging. Through field research, policy initiatives, and public outreach, the Aquarium’s New York Seascape program seeks to restore depleted populations, protect marine habitat, and build local ocean stewardship.