Elected officials were among those gathered at the New York Aquarium in Coney Island for a ceremony Friday breaking ground on a new facility.
The ceremony marked the start of construction on the 57,000-square-foot space, which was delayed because of Hurricane Sandy.
The facility is now scheduled to open in 2016.
The Wildlife Conservation Society says that the exhibits will teach visitors about local seascapes and conservation efforts.
The facility will house more than 100 species, including sharks, rays, sea turtles and fish.