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east end seaport

Long Island Aquarium staffers refurbishing the new saltwater exhibit at the East End Seaport Museum in Greenport. (Credit: East End Seaport Museum, courtesy)

The North Fork’s biggest marine life exhibit east of Riverhead will make its debut this week.

A 750-gallon saltwater tank, featuring the flora and fauna of the Peconic Estuary, will be unveiled at The East End Seaport Museum and Marine Foundation in Greenport on Friday, May at 4 p.m.

The museum has been home to the tank during the summer months since 1994, but the exhibit has been refurbished and, for the first time, curated by professionals at the Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center in Riverhead. Aquarium staffers Katie Marino, Phil Argiros and aquarium co-founder Joe Yaiullo worked on the exhibit.

“It features new lights and the backdrop has a shale rock covering,” said East End Seaport Museum director Nicole Desiree. “It looks a little more like a natural habitat.”

The specimens in the tank will include sea robins, killifish, Atlantic silversides, blackfish and winter flounder. The exhibit supports the museum’s mission of celebrating Greenport maritime heritage.

“Education materials surrounding our aquarium encourage visitors to recognize the contribution of marine life to our eco-cycle,” states a press release announcing the event. “Through the study of these living creatures, visitors will be better prepared to conserve the environment for themselves, their children and all present and future inhabitants of this planet earth.”

The tank will be maintained by East End Seaport volunteers, Desiree said.

Light refreshments will be served during a ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday evening. There will be a raffle with prizes like a free lighthouse cruise and museum gift shop items.

The East End Seaport Museum is located on 3rd Street in Greenport, near the Shelter Island North Ferry terminal.