Friday, August 8, 2008

August 2008


Paint the Town Blue: Stay-cation at the Aquarium
By Jordan Burns

Sharks and Rays Touch TankWith gas prices at all-time highs, the word on everybody's lips is "stay-cation." There are still a few weeks left of summer, so stay the day at the Aquarium. Before Sharks and Rays: Explore Their World swims away September 1, learn the truth about these amazing animals' undeserved reputations, and feel them glide under your fingers at the sharks and rays touch tank. Don't miss your chance meet our temporary summer guest, Baranov, the 500-pound fur seal, before he returns home to Mystic, CT. We also have four new additions to the little blue penguin exhibit, including Lion, the little guy who became a national celebrity for his human surrogate mothers.

While you have the whole family here, save money and time with a family membership. Along with free Aquarium admission, membership offers discounts on IMAX and Whale Watch tickets, purchases at the gift shop, and validated parking rates. And the best part about a family membership? Express entry lets you avoid the lines! Additionally, all Aquarium visitors can stretch their food budgets. Bring your Simons IMAX Theatre ticket stub to Sel de la Terre or Cheers Faneuil Hall the same day you see a film to receive 15 percent off your total bill.

Save even more money on your stay-cation and take advantage of public transportation by parking outside the city and taking the train or MBTA. While you're downtown, check out other fun and inexpensive attractions, including the Freedom Trail, Faneuil Hall, the historic North End, the beautiful Public Garden, and the Charles River Esplanade.

To paraphrase the Go-Gos, "Stay-cation, all I ever wanted!"

Maria DeMaioMaria DeMaio at The Reef

August 16, 4-7 p.m.

Singer Maria DeMaio will rock The Reef at the Aquarium in a special outdoor performance. DeMaio has been winning over audiences all over Boston with her refreshing songwriting and a powerhouse voice that has been called both "soulful" and "quietly scintillating." She combines her profoundly emotional delivery with intensely personal songwriting that is steeped in intent and sincerity. With songs that are as catchy as they are clever, Maria demonstrates that pop can break free of its cookie cutter roots.

Spotlight on Research

By Amanda Thompson, Lab Manager


The Aquarium's Right Whale Research Team has just moved to Lubec, Maine to begin their 29th annual Bay of Fundy field season, which lasts from early August through September. This year, the research is made possible by generous grants from five supporters, including Irving Oil, the Island Foundation, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, the Royal Caribbean Ocean Fund and a grant to the team's partners at Canadian Whale Institute from World Wildlife Fund/Environment Canada.

Every summer, North Atlantic right whales migrate to the Bay of Fundy to feed in the plankton-rich waters, nurse their young and socialize. Every day that the fickle weather permits, the researchers go out to the Grand Manan Basin in the lower Bay of Fundy on their 29-foot long research vessel, Nereid, to take digital photographs of the whales. They spend the bad weather days matching these photographs to whales in the North Atlantic Right Whale Catalog. They also collect small skin samples for ongoing genetic analyses, to develop knowledge about the right whale family tree.

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans in Canada has used the team's data to help protect right whales. It designated a right whale conservation area in 1993 and proposed a critical habitat in the Right Whale Recovery Strategy. Additionally, Transport Canada used the data to relocate shipping lanes to reduce the risk of ship strikes. To learn more about this field season as it happens and see photos and videos, visit the Right Whale Research Team's blog. Check back frequently for updates!

Save Green, Live Blue

RaindropNew England is in the midst of one of the rainiest Augusts on record. A barrel or other large container placed strategically under a downspout will provide (free!) water for gardening, lawn maintenance and car washes, and help you conserve precious natural resources.

According to the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, mesh fabric or several drops of baby oil on the surface of the water will prevent mosquitoes from breeding. They also note that rain barrels are particularly useful when placed next to plants or beds that need moist soil. The MWRA's website has additional eco-friendly lawn and gardening tips.

Dive In!

Register now for these educational programs to introduce your child to the world of water and its inhabitants.

Toddler Explorers: Ocean Opposites

Tuesdays at 9:30 a.m.: September 16, 23, 30, October 7

Fridays at 11 a.m.: September 19, 26, October 3, 10

Preschool Explorers: Ocean Opposites

Tuesdays at 11 a.m.: September 16, 23, 30, October 7

Fridays at 9:30 a.m.: September 19, 26, October 3, 10

Little Fishes Play Group

Wednesdays at 9:30 a.m.: September 17, 24, October 1, 8, 15, 22

Ocean Detectives Saturday Exploration

Jellies: August 16, 2 p.m. for 5- to 10-year olds

Sharks: September 13, 10 a.m. for 5- to 7- year-olds and 2 p.m. for 8- to 10-year-olds

Girls at Exhibit

Is This Heaven? No, It's Boston

Today at 8:10 p.m.

Dan ShaughnessyBoston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy might not have plowed over his backyard to build a diamond for a bunch of ghosts, but he does know his baseball. Join him for the final home run of the Aquarium's Grand Slam movie series at the Aquarium's Simons IMAX Theatre. Shaughnessy will introduce Field of Dreams, the evening's baseball classic, and chat with the audience about all things baseball, from insider tidbits to whether Fenway Park will once again be Boston's field of dreams.
Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for kids (3-11), members and anyone who has a snack or a drink at The Reef before the movie.

Now Playing at the

Simons IMAX Theatre

Simons IMAX Theatre

Ocean Wild Exhibit

Through Sept. 21

Take a trip to the Mass Audubon Visual Arts Center in Canton to see Ocean Wild, the latest collection from National Geographic photographer—and Aquarium Overseer—Brian Skerry. The Aquarium is a proud sponsor of the exhibition, which showcases Brian's stunning imagery by taking the audience around the world and deep into the sea.

Think Swim, Think Swiss

Swiss Beach Day at the Charles River

September 7, 2008

As the water quality of the Charles River continues to improve, the Consulate of Switzerland is partnering with the Charles River Conservancy to promote river swimming. The upcoming exhibit Think Swim, Think Swiss consists of three-dimensional Swiss cross kaleidoscopes displaying examples of Swiss bathing structures to explore the technological, environmental and cultural context of river swimming.

Marine Studies

The Marine Studies Consortium at Brandeis University teaches evening undergraduate courses in marine/aquatic sciences and environmental management. The Consortium's mission is to increase understanding of coastal and marine ecosystems and to promote policies that protect aquatic resources. The Biology of Fishes course offered at the Aquarium may be the only ichthyology course in the world where students use the resources of a major aquarium at every class meeting.

World of Water in the News