Staff at the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas recalled that in the days after Hurricane Katrina, there were so many dead fish floating on the surface of the giant tanks that it almost looked as if a person could walk across the tops of them.
Those tanks are teeming with life again, as were viewing corridors, as the New Orleans aquarium reopened to the public for the first time since Katrina blew out windows and cut power for longer than generators could hold out. Repairs and buying new animals cost $5 million. About 2,000 animals survived.
Opening-day attendance was around 3,000, and it was loud, with children everywhere, pressing their hands and faces against glass tank walls to get a close-up look at sharks, stingrays, penguins and other marine life.