Long Island’s pounding surf and rocky shore create an astonishing habitat for a variety of marine life. Long Island Aquarium’s Local Rocky Shores exhibit presents local animals, algae, and plants in a natural setting.
Kept at 50° F, this 2,000-gallon exhibit features live macroalgae and local kelp – a difficult feat in a closed-system display, and one that is made possible through the constant addition of minerals such as iron and iodine.
The water in this exhibit, and all exhibits at the Long Island Aquarium, comes from Shinnecock Bay. It is regularly delivered by tanker truck to the Aquarium and kept in a holding tank until needed.
Kelps are some of the largest and fastest-growing organisms on Earth. Certain species in the Pacific can reach lengths of 250 feet! Though plantlike in appearance, kelp is actually a type of brown alga.
Kelps have been proposed as a source of renewable energy. They produce a high amount of methane and other sugars that may be used to produce ethanol!