The privately-owned facility houses thousands of unique species that all need special care. While the aquarium is currently closed to the public, its team of animal caretakers, who are considered essential employees, are working to care for the animals and maintain their habitats. The money raised will go toward maintaining that as long as possible.
“With a collection of more than 5000 animals to feed, we must keep operations going,” the organization stated on the GoFundMe page. “We have a large team of caretakers that still must go to work each day to feed, provide meds, ensure life support is maintained, and care and clean for all of our animals. As an aquarium, we have tanks that must run on electricity all day, every day.”
The aquarium estimates it will lose approximately 60,000 visitors and incoming revenue during the New York State-mandated closure. The current cost of operations is $18,000 per week, a press release states.
“As a privately-owned facility, we do not get any government funding, we don’t qualify for discounts with our power company, and we don’t have large sponsors,” the company said on the GoFundMe page. “Our resources are extremely limited and we must continue on to protect our precious collection of animals. We understand this is a terrible time for our country, and the world, and hope we can work together to keep our animals fed and well cared for until we can reopen our doors and return to some type of normal.”
The aquarium also continues to help support the New York Marine Rescue Center, a hospital located in the aquarium facility. The rescue center currently houses 30 endangered sea turtles and five seals, all of which have been brought to the facility for urgent and prolonged care.
“We all have to help,” Natalie Camilleri wrote on the GoFundMe with her donation.
“Long Island Aquarium has been a source of great joy for my kids,” said Patrick Chen. “Will budget more money to help and get a membership.”
So far, the campaign, which launched on March 20, has reached just over 20 percent of its $25,000 goal.
Visit gf.me/u/xrxtsd to donate and for more information.