Saturday, July 4, 2015

Aquarium rescuers honored at Fenway!

After treating a record number of hypothermic sea turtles last fall (733 to be exact), the Aquarium's sea turtle rescue team took to the field at Fenway Park last night to be honored during a pre-game ceremony. Here are a few pictures from this exciting event!

The team, including Midas the sea turtle, Teri Davidson from Marketing (2nd from right)
and Aquarium CEO Nigella Hillgarth (far right)

Katie and Adam, all smiles.
A little mascot love between Wally and Midas

On the jumbo tron!

The team!

Thank you Boston Red Sox for having us! It was quite an honor, and quite a game (even though we didn't get the outcome we wanted in extra innings—Go Sox!).

Thursday, July 2, 2015

A Whale of a Salute to Old Glory!

When  humpback whales breach, hundreds of cameras can be clicking on a New England Aquarium Whale Watch, trying to capture one of nature’s most majestic images. For Andrew White, a senior deckhand for Boston Harbor Cruises, which operates the Aquarium’s whale watch, he was on the back deck of the Asteria as a playful, yearling humpback made about thirty breaches in a half hour.

Snapped on a New England Aquarium Whale Watch

The behavior became somewhat predictable, and White was lucky enough to not only catch a clear image of the athletic, 20-ton animal clearing the water but also capture the American flag extended in a sea breeze in the foreground. The shot was taken 25 miles east of Boston in late May at the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, America’s only whale feeding sanctuary, and one of the top whale watching destinations in the world.

Who needs fireworks when you can have 20 tons of humpback splashing down before you? Not to mention that you can't see fireworks during the day. Check out a New England Aquarium Whale Watch this holiday weekend! Buy tickets online so you don't miss out.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Welcome to the turtle days of summer!

Here at the Aquarium we have turtles on the brain. Even more than usual, that is.

Look for Myrtle the turtle at Park Street T station this summer, and all around town!

That's because our new exhibit featuring the turtle rescue experience is now open, our summertime ads featuring Myrtle the green sea turtle are splashed across the city and our real-life sea turtle rescue team is set to be honored at Fenway Park ahead of Friday night's game.

We just can't contain our enthusiasm for saving sea turtles! So we're bringing our turtle mission to masses. Look for our friendly turtle mascot around town this summer, where we'll be giving away snazzy reusable grocery bags and other turtle rescue team swag. (Skipping the plastic shopping bag is one way we can help turtles in the wild, after all.)

First stop: Park Street T station tomorrow morning! In honor of Myrtle's mug taking over the station, we'll be on site at 8:30 a.m. with bags to give away to the first 200 folks who we reach.

First 200 people to find us at Park Street on Thursday, July 2, get to take home this reusable bag!

But if you miss us at Park Street tomorrow, you can still try your luck at winning some turtle swag by sharing your own #TurtleRescueTeam pictures on Twitter, Instagram and/or Tumblr! Just use the #TurtleRescueTeam hashtag and show us what you're doing doing to help turtles.

If you're at Fenway on Friday, be sure to look for our rescue team and give them a nice big round of applause for all the turtles they've rescued, treated and returned to the ocean. And now it's your turn! Visit the Aquarium this summer to learn more about the sea turtle rescue experience and learn how our every day actions can help turtles.

Share your #TurtleRescueTeam story and you could win!

Your Mission: Save Turtlekind
Did you have an amazing encounter with a turtle in the wild? Do you take actions to help sea turtles—like use a reusable water bottle so that disposable plastics won't end up in the ocean?  We want to hear about it! 

Join the turtle rescue team. Tell us about your turtle rescue success stories. Here's how:
  • Head to your favorite social media platform and post a picture of your rescue.
  • In your caption, tell us about your rescue and include the hashtag phrase #TurtleRescueTeam
  • That's it!
We'll be checking Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram to see what you post! We'll be choosing our favorites to win some pretty spiffy prizes—from reusable shopping bags and magnets, maybe even a grand prize of a Meet Myrtle encounter. So get posting!

Maybe your entries will look something like these:

We watched out for a snapper for a long time last week as she made her way across the field. She was about 1.5 feet long!
We kept dogs and kids away so the turtle could safely pass to her destination. #TurtleRescueTeam

I volunteer with Mass Audubon at Wellfleet Bay to walk beaches on Cape Cod in the fall to
search for stranded sea turtles. #TurtleRescueTeam

This tortoise in Copley Square is surely on the #TurtleRescueTeam! | Photo by wallyg via flickr

Stories of turtle rescue, like these, are inspiration for our whole community of rescuers. We are eager to see how you're helping turtles and we want to share it with our followers. Some of your stories might end up in a slide show here on our blogs. Some families might end up being profiled on our website, just like Abby who helped raise money for sea turtles by selling bracelets!

Wondering how you can help turtles? Here are some handy tips from our top turtle expert, Dr. Charles Innis, head veterinarian at the Aquarium:
  • If you see a turtle on a quiet road, stop and let it cross—but only if it’s safe for you! Turtles move about to find mates and lay eggs. Our roads interrupt those journeys.
  • Gently move the turtle to the side of the road by holding the sides of its shell near the tail. Be careful, some turtles can bite! Be sure to wash your hands afterward.
  • Never transport turtles to a different habitat or distant locations. You could be spreading disease and removing a breeding adult from its population.
  • Do not release pet turtles into the wild. They also carry disease and non-native species can out-compete our local species. Call your local pet shop if you need help. 
  • Advocate for habitat protection. Turtles live a long time and often return to the same places to breed and lay eggs. Protecting their swamps mean many more generations of turtles can thrive.

Need more turtle to start your summer? Of course you do! Plan a visit to the Aquarium to explore our new exhibit. You'll also learn how communities are coming together to protect turtle habitats and get a glimpse at some of our greatest turtle rescue success stories.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Meet a NASA Astronaut!

Free activity! Visit the Aquarium's Harbor View Terrace on July 9, from 9 am to 3 pm, to experience NASA’s Destination Station.

Did you know astronauts train underwater? Or that there is an aquarium on board the International Space Station? Ocean and space exploration may seem miles apart, but they have more in common than you think!

Join us as we welcome NASA’s Destination Station, a mobile exhibit that immerses visitors in the story of NASA and the International Space Station Program. Touch a 4-billion-year-old moon rock, determine your weight on Mars and interact with NASA astronauts and space station experts—right here at the New England Aquarium!

Visit the exhibit at the Aquarium’s Harbor View Terrace, alongside Boston’s Harborwalk, on July 9 from 9am to 3pm. Destination Station is free and open to the public. Aquarium admission is not included.

Save time to visit the Aquarium where Astronaut Suni Williams will dive in the Giant Ocean Tank around 9 am, and then she will dry off and answer a few questions. At noon and 2pm, space suit expert Sue Curley will give presentations with Dive Safety Officer John Hanzl comparing space suit technology with diving and rebreather technology. You'll have an opportunity to see an actual space suit and underwater rebreather!

We look forward to seeing you on July 9 for a day of exploration of our blue planet and beyond!

Photo by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
via Wikimedia Commons -