Yawkey Coral Reef Center

Yawkey Coral Reef Center at the New England Aquarium
Yawkey Coral Reef Center at the New England Aquarium Photo: Webb Chappell
Witness coral reef biodiversity in action with intimate views of unique coral reef animals like dwarf seahorses, critically endangered staghorn coral, and mesmerizing garden eels.

Know Before You Go

The Yawkey Coral Reef Center offers an intimate view of Caribbean coral inhabitants who are too small to be seen in the Giant Ocean Tank.

  • The long-spined sea urchins in this gallery graze on algae that can smother corals. Their presence helps keep corals strong and healthy.
  • Yawkey Coral Reef Center is one of three areas where you can see living coral in the Aquarium. The others are the Living Corals exhibit and the Lagoon exhibit.
  • Aquarium educators are often present to provide in-depth information about coral reef ecosystems and conservation. Feel free to ask them if you have any questions.

Below the Surface of Caribbean Waters

Caribbean waters support essential underwater habitats, including coral reefs, sandy seafloors, seagrasses, and mangroves. The exhibits in this gallery offer a closer look at some of the beauty and diversity of these different habitats and the opportunity to explore the smaller inhabitants of the Caribbean.

Yellowhead jawfish
Yellowhead jawfish

Carbon Dioxide’s Increasing Effect on Coral Reefs

As human production of CO₂ increases, the ocean is absorbing more CO₂ than it can handle. This is causing the ocean to become more acidic, which makes it difficult for hard-shelled animals to grow their shells properly and for corals to form their skeletons. Coral reefs worldwide are fragile, so it’s important to take action against climate change on a community level now.

Staghorn coral in the garden eel exhibit at the New England Aquarium
Staghorn coral in the garden eel exhibit at the New England Aquarium

Take a Look Around

  • Garden eels
    Garden eels Photo: Vanessa Kahn
  • Guests watch gardens eels
    Guests watch gardens eels Photo: Caitlin Cunningham
  • Dwarf Seahorses
    Dwarf Seahorses Photo: Vanessa Kahn



Become a Member

As a member of the New England Aquarium, you have access to 10,000 marine animals, 70 awe-inspiring exhibits, and exclusive events all year. But that is just the beginning.