Museums, Programs, Historic Sites
The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk
The Maritime Aquarium is located at the mouth of the Norwalk River in Norwalk, Connecticut. Exhibits, activities and educational programs explore the marine life of Long Island Sound and its watershed, as well as a variety of other marine habitats. The Aquarium holds over 1,000 aquatic animals, including harbor seals, sharks, jellies, sea turtles and river otters. Exhibits portray successive levels of life in the Sound, from shallow tidal exhibits to the 110,000-gallon “Ocean Beyond the Sound.” Other highlights include three touch tanks, Connecticut’s largest IMAX theater, and the country’s only research vessel with hybrid-electric propulsion. The Maritime Aquarium offers a variety of educational programs for school groups and the public.
The Maritime Aquarium offers exciting science-education experiences for school groups as well as the public.
For School Groups
The Maritime Aquarium offers to educators a selection of more than 35 programs. Some are conducted in the aquarium’s classrooms; others, in the field, aboard our unique new research vessel and at schools. Maritime Aquarium programs use the motivating power of live animals and the varied marine habitats of Long Island Sound to make science a positive adventure for students as they’re introduced to scientific concepts, processes and the importance of science in our everyday lives. They also instill a sense of stewardship in students that is critical to citizenship and quality of life. Additionally, these programs help teachers achieve academic goals defined by the Next Generation Science and Common Core standards. Titles range from simple “touch” programs for preschoolers to dissection programs for middle schoolers to AP environmental-science outings on the Sound for high-school groups.
For the Public
From late June to mid-August, The Maritime Aquarium offers weeklong summer-camp programs for ages 6 to 12 (plus a three-week “Teen Apprentice” camp for ages 13–15). Similar “Spring Vacation Adventures” are available for ages 6–12 during the April school break. Occasional single-session public programs include “Feeding Time,” during which participants help staff make morning feeding rounds, and animal-specific sessions for kids that may focus on sharks, sea turtles or other species.
R/V Spirit of the Sound
Many of the Aquarium’s most-popular programs occur aboard R/V Spirit of the Sound, the country’s only research vessel with quiet hybrid-electric propulsion. Spring through autumn, Marine Life Study Cruises bring animals up out of Long Island Sound right before participants’ eyes, while Lighthouse Cruises provide close looks at historic beacons. In winter, cruises seek some of the seals and birds that migrate down to the Sound.