The National Aquarium’s massive, $12.5 million new permanent coral reef exhibition, “Blacktip Reef,” was slated to open July 10 with more than 1,000 animals of 75 different species — including 20 blacktip reef sharks – lurking within its 260,000-gallon tank. When complete, visitors would be able to gaze upon an aquatic universe that swirls around a meticulously created coral reef.
But the Aquarium announced today that it’s going to take longer than expected to realize that vision. “We’ve decided to give the 1,200 residents of Blacktip Reef more time to acclimate to their new home,” National Aquarium CEO John Racanelli wrote in a statement. What it means is that the Aquarium will now add the animals in phases over the month of July, even as the exhibit opens to guests.