Thursday, February 19, 2009

February 2009


February School Staycation

Make the Aquarium part of your family’s February school vacation plans and create memories that will last a lifetime. Use your Turtle Passport to follow the turtle trail through the Aquarium to see some of the world’s most endangered turtles and learn about these mysterious creatures. Make sure you visit the patients recuperating in our newly renovated turtle hospital and wish them well. While you’re here, upgrade to an IMAX combo ticket for only $6 and check out our brand-new, awe-inspiring IMAX film Under the Sea 3D.

Sea Turtle

To maximize visitors’ enjoyment time, the Aquarium is offering special extended hours and will be open from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. every day from February 14-22. Since we are a popular destination for families, we encourage guests who want a quieter experience to schedule their visits in the morning before 11 a.m. or in the late afternoon after 3 p.m. If you do encounter a line, though, don’t worry! We’ve set up a warm tent on the front plaza where we’ll be serving hot cocoa to keep everybody toasty, and our educators entertain everyone waiting.

Buy your tickets online.

Plan your visit.

Changing Climate, Changing Coasts

Experts now agree that the threats of climate change are no longer potential—they are inevitable. On February 5, the New England Aquarium and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution brought together a diverse group of climate change experts and business leaders, policy makers, marine biologists, and representatives from non-governmental organizations to bring the issue of global climate change closer to home. The interdisciplinary group gathered at the Moakley Federal Courthouse in Boston for "Changing Climate, Changing Coasts," a day-long symposium on the local impacts of climate change.

Aquarium President Bud RisThe symposium examined the implications for the local economy and environment and—with a pragmatic bias—explored ways to mitigate climate change and, when necessary, adapt to it. Steps to be taken include revisiting current zoning requirements and development regulations along the shoreline, bolstering waterfront property with seawalls and other protections, bringing insurance premiums in line with new levels of risk, and evaluating alternative sources of energy.

Read New England Aquarium President Bud Ris’ op-ed piece on climate change that appeared in the Boston Globe.

Blue Online

The oceans are a leading indicator of climate change — they are affected by climate change, and they in turn affect the climate. As an ocean steward, the Aquarium is a supporter of important research on climate change and the oceans. We are also a source of information for the public on the causes and impacts of climate change and how individuals can get involved in the fight to protect planet Earth.

We recently launched a new section of our website devoted entirely to global climate change. Visit to learn more about climate change and the oceans, including:

The effects on ocean animals

Climate change in New England

The Aquarium gets involved

Live blue: What you can do

Policies that tackle the issues of global climate change

Harp Seal Visits the Aquarium

Juvenile Harp Seal

Even wild marine mammals know that the Aquarium is a great place to visit! In late January, a juvenile harp seal visited the docks next to our plaza. It is normal to see these seals in our neighborhood at this time of year. Seals are semi-aquatic, which means they spend time out of the water, often than three or more days at a time. Harp seals are born on pack ice in the Arctic and are accustomed to frigid temperatures, unlike many of New England’s human residents!

Meet our young visitor.

Seals might be cute, but they are wild animals and should not be disturbed. (In fact, the Marine Mammal Protection Act makes it illegal to touch, feed or otherwise harass marine mammals without proper authorization.) Our Marine Animal Rescue Team reminds you of the following guidelines if you spot a seal on the beach. Keep all observers, including children and pets, at least 150 feet away from the animal. Don’t offer the seal food or water or try to cover it with a towel or blanket, and don’t try to make it move. If the seal looks injured or unhealthy (for example, if it has obvious injuries, gunky eyes or an underweight appearance), please take notes on its location, size, coloring and behavior, and then call the Aquarium’s Marine Animal Hotline at 617-973-5247.

Learn more about how to help stranded marine animals.

How I Spent my Summer Vacation

Harbor Discoveries Camps

Our popular Harbor Discoveries Camps are selling out quickly, but there are still a few spots left for energetic and enthusiastic young future ocean protectors. Give Advanced-level campers (entering 8th or 9th grades in fall 2009) the best two weeks of their summers with Schooner Adventures (July 27-31 and August 3-7) or Marine Biologist in Training: Coastal Expeditions (August 3-7 and 10-14). These two-week programs include one week of regular camp followed by a five-day, four-night adventure spent exploring the region’s marine habitats. Your camper will return home brimming with ocean knowledge, great friendships and newfound independence!

Learn more about Harbor Discoveries Camps.

LionfishDive Into the Bahamas

The Aquarium replenishes the fishes and invertebrates in our Caribbean reef exhibits with two annual expeditions to the Bahamas, and you’re welcome to come along! Guests will dive alongside Aquarium biologists as they carefully and safely bring back animals that will be viewed in the Aquarium’s exhibits. Read exciting accounts of previous expeditions on the Bahamas Collecting Expedition Blog. For more information about how to join, contact Sarah Taylor or Sherrie Floyd.

Take a Moment

Please consider making a charitable contribution to the New England Aquarium. We rely on our generous donors to contribute more than 30% of our operating budget. These funds support the educational, conservation and research programs that make the New England Aquarium a leader both locally and globally. We need your support now more than ever. Gifts of any size make a difference!

Please make a donation online today!

NEW! Under the Sea 3D

Dive deep Under the Sea by watching it on the largest screen in New England! Our newest IMAX 3D film will transport you to the most exotic undersea locations on Earth for face-to-face encounters with mysterious and stunning marine creatures. Discover the habits and habitats of great white sharks, flamboyant cuttlefish, leafy sea dragons, giant stingrays, green sea turtles, playful Australian sea lions, six-foot garden eels and a multitude of brilliantly colorful fish. Narrated by Jim Carrey, Under the Sea 3D offers an inspirational way to explore the unique beauty of this rarely seen realm.

Check showtimes and buy your tickets online now.

Boston Sea Rovers Diving Clinic: Raise the Level of Knowledge of the Underwater World

March 7 and 8

Copley Fairmont Hotel, Boston

Little Fishes Play Group: Spring Session

Age 1

Wednesdays beginning March 4 or Thursdays beginning March 5

Family Explorers Series 2: Sea Shapes

Ages 2-4

Tuesdays beginning March 3 or Fridays beginning March 6

Ocean Detectives

Junior Detectives (Ages 5-7): Reef Fish

Advanced Detectives (Ages 8-12): Water Discoveries

February 28

Junior Detectives (Ages 5-7): Seals

Advanced Detectives (Ages 8-12): Sensational Seaweed March 14

Marine World in the News