The Discovery Pass, sold by the New York State Parks, is a package of attractions that includes the Maid of the Mist boat ride, the Cave of the Winds, the Trolley, a Niagara Falls movie, the Geological Museum and the Aquarium of Niagara.
At the aquarium, there are sea lions that perform for their supper, penguins in a glass cage, harbor seals in a pool and many displays of saltwater fish, in brilliantly arrayed aquariums.
It is natural enough that tourists coming to the aquarium might expect to find displays of the inhabitants of the Niagara River.
Presently there are none.
But that may soon change.
The Aquarium of Niagara is planning to utilize a grant from the DEC to create new exhibits featuring the fish and aquatic life of the lower Niagara and Lake Ontario.
According to the Aquarium's Executive Director Gay Molnar, it may open as early as next year.
"We are planning a series of exhibits on what our region offers," Molnar said. The display will include live exhibits on the aquatic life of the Niagara.
Also planned are exhibits on invasive species and how to stop the spread of these misplaced fish, plants, and invertebrates that compete with native species and change their adopted ecosystems, such as lamprey, gobies, zebra mussels, and the Asian carp.
Molnar said the Aquarium hopes to begin work on the Niagara exhibits by the end of August.
The Aquarium of Niagara, a not for profit enterprise, survives on a combination of ticket sales, fund raising events, grants and donations.
It received $30,000 from casino money in 2007. Since that time, the aquarium has not received any casino funds, although discussions with city officials have been held from time to time about reinstating gifts to the organization.