Terrapins Maritime Aquarium

Maritime Aquarium Is Looking For Volunteers to Help Study Diamondback Terrapins

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Volunteers along coastal communities are needed by The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk to help collect data on a turtle whose population is of special concern in Connecticut, the diamondback terrapin. — an announcement from The Maritime Aquarium

The Maritime Aquarium is recruiting volunteers to train for the “Terrapin Tracker” program, a special initiative whose goal is to better understand where diamondback terrapins live and to potentially add protective measures along coastal roads. Registration is open now for virtual trainings on March 23 and 29. The diamondback terrapin (Malaclemys t. terrapin) is the only turtle along the U.S. Atlantic Coast that spends its life in the brackish water of salt marshes and tidal creeks. They’re named for the diamond-shaped pattern atop their top shell.

Happy Feet the 4D Experience playing at The Maritime Aquarium

‘Happy Feet 4D Experience’ Now Playing at The Maritime Aquarium

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Follow Mumble the dancing penguin in amazing 3D while also feeling the polar wind, falling snow and icy spray in “Happy Feet 4D Experience,” the newest cinematic family adventure at The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk. — an announcement from The Maritime Aquarium

Opening today, Jan. 3, this 13-minute film is based on Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Village Roadshow Pictures’ Academy Award-winning film “Happy Feet.”

Combining the excitement of digital 3D projection with 4D multi-sensory effects, “Happy Feet 4D Experience” brings a young penguin’s adventure to life and includes such in-theater effects as snow, wind, bubbles, scents and more. “Happy Feet 4D Experience” takes audiences to Antarctica to meet a lively colony of Emperor Penguins faced with a diminishing food supply.

Meerkat

Meerkats Get a Christmas Gift at Maritime Aquarium — a New, Larger Living Space

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Connecticut’s only mob of meerkats — the popular family unit in The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk — is moving into a big new exhibit that connects their desert story to the influences of the ocean on climate and weather. — an announcement from The Maritime Aquarium

Beginning Dec. 26, The Maritime Aquarium’s meerkats move upstairs into an exhibit twice as large as their original display. The new exhibit replicates the animals’ native African-desert habitat and offers the meerkats many new opportunities for climbing, digging and exploring. Plus, three viewing “bubbles” will give guests the chance to pop up right among the meerkats.

Butterfly-Tail Goldfish

‘Think You Know Goldfish?’ The New Maritime Aquarium Exhibit May Surprise You

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Delve into the under-appreciated story of the goldfish in the special exhibit, “Think You Know Goldfish?” which just opened at The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk. — an announcement from The Maritime Aquarium

They most likely were your first pet. You could win them at carnivals. Mom flushed them when they died. And there was a college craze in the 1950s of swallowing them.

Bridget Cervero Maritime Aquarium Points to Sharks

Maritime Aquarium Gets Award for World-Class Online Educational Workshops

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For its rapid and broad response in providing live virtual science lessons to schools suddenly thrust by COVID-19 into online learning, The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk is being honored for the best educational initiative in 2020 by any zoo or aquarium in the country. — an announcement from The Maritime Aquarium

The Aquarium’s implementation of — and the global reception to — a new slate of STEM-based virtual programs received the top award for education on Wednesday, during the annual conference of the 241-member Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA). In presenting the 2021 award, the AZA judges said, “This program has impressive reach and is connected to many diverse communities around the world with its inclusive approach of different languages and abilities.”

Since the pandemic hit in spring 2020, The Maritime Aquarium has live-streamed standards-fulfilling lessons on animals, conservation, habitats and other marine-science topics to more than 38,000 students and individuals in 44 states and on five continents — North and South America, Europe, Asia and Africa. “This national award confirms the quality of our programs,” said Aquarium President Jason Patlis. Tom Naiman, the Aquarium’s vice president of education, said it’s significant that this is the first time the AZA has presented a top education award for a virtual program.

Maritime Aquarium programs for home schooled students drop-off

Programs for Home-Schooled Kids on Oct 1 at Maritime Aquarium

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Home-schooled kids can take an educational “dive” into the marine world through discounted admission and grade-appropriate programs Friday, Oct. 1 at  The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk. — an announcement from The Maritime Aquarium

“Homeschool Day” makes available to homeschool students many of the educational classroom programs regularly presented to traditional school groups by Aquarium educators. Options on Oct. 1 include story times for preschoolers and a selection of classroom programs for kids in all grades, from K-12.

Masked at Maritime Aquarium COVID-19

(Not Quite) at the Maritime Aquarium: a Virtual Pajama Party, 7 to 9 PM, Saturday

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Put on your favorite PJs on and join Aquarium staff online for a pajama party! See the stingrays, seals, and sharks after hours as we tour the galleries. — an announcement from the Maritime Aquarium

Get a peek behind-the-scene of the open ocean shark tank and inside the fish kitchen. Meet a variety of intertidal animals during a touch tank demonstration. End the evening making a craft activity at home and listening to a bedtime story.

Sensory Friendly Evening Maritime Aquarium

Maritime Aquarium Offers a ‘Sensory-Friendly’ Night April 8 for Those Who Need It

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The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk is planning a special evening on Thursday, April 8 to give guests with sensory-processing differences a fun, comfortable and accepting environment. — an announcement from The Maritime Aquarium

During this “Sensory-Friendly Evening,” from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., lights in the Aquarium will be lower, and music and other sounds will be turned down or off. Plus, admission will be discounted, and the aquarium will show movies in the new 4D Theater without special effects. Tom Naiman, the aquarium’s director of education, said the Aquarium created “Sensory-Friendly” events in 2016 to be supportive of children and adults with special needs who may find a visit to the aquarium too stressful. “We have been offering occasional ‘Sensory-Friendly’ events in recognition that some elements of our exhibits can present a challenge because the spaces may be seen as too bright or loud or crowded for some people,” Naiman said.

Maritime Aquarium kid touch tank

Maritime Aquarium Named Finalist for National Medal for Museum and Library Service

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The Institute of Museum and Library Services announced today that The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk is among 30 finalists for the 2021 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The Maritime Aquarium is the only aquarium in the U.S. selected as a finalist this year, and one of only two institutions — along with the Ferguson Library in Stamford — named in Connecticut. — an announcement from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Maritime Aquarium

The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor for museums and libraries that demonstrate significant impact in their communities. For more than 25 years, the award has honored institutions that demonstrate excellence in service to their communities. Six National Medal winners will be announced in May.

Masked at Maritime Aquarium COVID-19

Maritime Aquarium Opens More as COVID-19 Eases, But With Tighter Capacity Limits Than State Allows

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As state-mandated capacity restrictions are lifted on Friday, March 19, the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk is ready with special COVID-19 protocols to welcome in additional guests. — an announcement from the Maritime Aquarium

President and CEO Jason Patlis said special measures have been added and refined since the Aquarium’s reopening in June under Gov. Ned Lamont’s reduced-capacity rules. Although the South Norwalk family attraction is allowed to have full capacity as of Friday, it will loosen — but not eliminate — its own limits on how many guests can enter each hour, he said. “We continue to strongly encourage guests — even Aquarium members — to reserve their tickets in advance online so that the actual admission process can be quick and contactless, and to guarantee their entry when they arrive,” Patlis said. Upon entering the Aquarium, guests will find a number of protocols in place.

Aquarium Free for Essential Workers

Free Maritime Aquarium Tickets Available for Essential Workers This Monday to Wednesday

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In this season of Thanksgiving, the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk is expressing gratitude to essential workers who have helped the community respond to — and thrive during — the coronavirus pandemic by making free tickets available this Monday through Wednesday, Nov. 23 to 25. — an announcement from the Maritime Aquarium

During these “Gratitude Days,” one free adult ticket will be available to essential workers with the purchase of any one full-priced Aquarium admission ticket. The offer is limited to one free ticket per household. Advance purchase is required via the aquarium website and will be available starting at noon on Sunday, Nov.

Maritime Aquarium virtual programs for Darien schools

Maritime Aquarium Offers Online Programs to Darien Schools

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Darien schools that have had to eliminate field trips from the new school year can still welcome seals, sea turtles, sharks and other marine animals into their classrooms through live online programs offered by the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk. — an announcement from the Maritime Aquarium

Long a regional resource to educators for fulfilling STEM-based teaching standards, The Maritime Aquarium has shifted from primarily presenting in-person classes to now offering 25 online distance-learning lessons. They’re available to any school anywhere. “Actual field trips are sometimes considered a luxury but, in the time of distance learning, virtual field trips are more important than ever,” said Tom Naiman, the Aquarium’s director of Education. “They inspire students, give teachers time to prepare their own future lessons and engage parents of younger students in their children’s education.”

Teachers can select from a menu of age-appropriate programs, including: an interactive story time for preschoolers (which also can be offered as a series); observing the adaptations and lifestyles of various sharks for Grades K-2; exploring the causes and solutions of water pollution for Grades 3-5; and investigating coastal resilience for middle- and high-schoolers.