Friday, August 28, 2015

Volunteer of the Month: August 2015

Every month our Volunteer department sorts through piles of nominations from supervisors and honors one of our volunteers for their truly stupendous efforts. Meet this month's volunteer!

Our volunteers are committed to the work they do, and we are thrilled when they apply their experience and knowledge outside of the Aquarium walls. For that reason and more, we are excited to name Allison Onofrio as our August Volunteer of the Month!

Here is her Allison’s supervisor, Meaghan-Elizabeth Foster, has to say about Allison:
Allison is a volunteer I can always count on. She travels down every week from school in NH to volunteer. She also often volunteers for longer shifts than required. She has taken what she has learned from the Aquarium and made changes in her community by convincing her sorority’s chef to switch from preparing Atlantic salmon to Pacific salmon, a more sustainable option. She consistently gets positive feedback from Mystery Shoppers and just won Outstanding Team member for her smiley positive attitude and ability to answer visitor questions with ease.

Thank you, Allison!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Boston Loves "Great White Shark 3D"

In Boston, riveting new clips of great white shark video seem to lead the TV news weekly. The Cape Cod town of Chatham has re-made itself in to the great white shark capital of the East Coast, and now the region’s armchair adventurers have set a new mark as the New England Aquarium’s Simon’s IMAX Theatre has been recognized as the #1 venue in the world for attendance to the giant screen movie Great White Shark 3D [buy tickets online].

Great white sharks in New Zealand from film Great White Shark 3D | Photo Luke Cresswell

Over the past two years, more than 240,000 people have come to New England’s largest movie screen to see arguably the ocean’s most fascinating and fearsome predator close-up. First released in May of 2013 to institutional IMAX theaters, Great White Shark 3D has been shown at more than 75 aquariums,  science centers and other museums all across the U.S. and Canada as well as  in Australia, Kuwait, Singapore, Spain, France and Mexico. Yet, Boston tops them all in attendance.

Deep cage diving in Isla Guadalupe from Great White Shark 3D | Photo by Luke Cresswell

Giant Screen Films, the movie’s distributor, confirms that New Englanders lead the way by a comfortable margin in watching this movie that emphasizes the natural history and conservation challenges facing great whites. Shot on location in South Africa, New Zealand, Mexico and California, Great White Shark 3D does not have scenes shot off of Cape Cod as the great white shark presence in Massachusetts has only become much more visible over the last few years. The movie profiles those who have had direct encounters with great white sharks including scientists and free divers.

An IMAX movie at an institution like the Aquarium usually has a much longer screen run than a regular commercial movie. However, Great White Shark 3D is approaching cult classic status. Jane Wolfson, the Aquarium’s VP for Marketing and Communications said, “We have tried to take it down, but we can’t. It stays on our screen by popular demand.”

Buy tickets to Great White Shark 3D at the Aquarium IMAX

Somehow, it seems to speak to the curious, maybe even obsessive relationship between New Englanders and great white sharks.

Have you seen Great White Shark 3D? It's the most popular film at our IMAX Theatre! 
Buy your tickets today.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Celebrating New England's Unique Ocean Habitats

Tonight's Save Ocean Treasures event with Brian Skerry is full. We cannot accept more RSVPs, but we will share a video of the event on this page as soon as possible.


The New England Aquarium and the National Geographic Society would like to invite members of the public to attend an event at the New England Aquarium, hosted by National Geographic photographer and New England Aquarium Explorer-in-Residence Brian Skerry and including a discussion with some of the region’s most preeminent marine scientists.

Kelp on Cashes Ledge | Photo ©Brian Skerry

Skerry will present spectacular never-before-seen video footage and photographs of some of New England’s most ecologically vital and fragile ocean habitats, including Cashes Ledge in the Gulf of Maine and a number of deep sea canyons and seamounts located approximately 150 miles southeast of Cape Cod. Plunging down from the edge of the continental shelf, the Oceanographer, Gilbert, Lydonia, Heezen, and Nygren canyons are deeper than the Grand Canyon and rich with cold water corals. Combined with the Bear, Retriever, Physalia, and Mytilus seamounts they represent some of the most scientifically important marine habitats in New England.

Atlantic wolffish on Cashes Ledge | Photo ©Brian Skerry

In addition to his own dramatic photos, Skerry will show images from a recent expedition to Cashes Ledge by National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Sylvia Earle as well as breathtaking video of the canyons and seamounts shot by the NOAA Okeanos Explorer team.

Coral | Photo ©NOAA

Skerry will also lead a panel discussion of about how valuable these remarkable places are to the health of our oceans, the vibrancy of our coastal communities, and the future of some of the ocean’s most treasured species, from threatened right whales to thousand-year-old coral formations.

WHO:  Joining Skerry on the panel will be:

  • Scott Kraus, VP for Research at the New England Aquarium & whale researcher
  • Jon Witman, professor of biology at Brown University & marine ecologist
  • Peter Auster, research scientist at Mystic Aquarium’s Sea Research Foundation & marine ecologist

WHEN: Wednesday, September 2.
5:30 p.m. — Hors d’oeuvres reception in the lobby of the Simons IMAX Theatre
6:15 p.m. — Presentations

WHERE: New England Aquarium’s Simons IMAX Theatre, Central Wharf, Boston

This event is full.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Hashtagging Winner of the Week!

Every week, we're picking a lucky winner to feature on our homepage as part of our #TurtleRescueTeam hashtag contest. To enter, simply post a picture of a turtle or show us what you do to help turtles (HINT: use reusable water bottles!) on Twitter or Instagram and include #TurtleRescueTeam in your caption! 

This week's winner is @xtinaburke, who shared her image on Instagram. She got not one, but two turtles in her photo of the Giant Ocean Tank!

Last week's winner was @liz_tomasi, who snapped and shared this image on Instagram. She saw Mydas during a recent Magic 106.7 Family Film Festival. Our sea turtle mascot was there to make some new friends and recognize attendees who live blue™ by using reusable water bottles and totes. We loved seeing these enthusiastic future ocean protectors, thanks @liz_tomasi!

If you want in on this fun, be sure to post pictures to Instagram, Twitter or Tumblr and use our #TurtleRescueTeam hashtag. Learn more about the contest here. Thanks to everyone who's submitted so far. Keep up the great work, humans!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

5 New Things to See and Do

Special discount! We're waiving online ticketing surcharges through Labor Day only. Get the most out of summer and explore all the fun stuff the Aquarium has to offer. Buy your tickets online today. 

Labor Day comes late this year, which means you have a whole extra week to add to your cache of summertime memories. Snap out of your heat-induced haze because you won't want to miss these fresh new sights on Central Wharf! Plus, a day at the Aquarium makes for a great retreat from the heat. Here are the top five new things to see and do:

1. New Skills
Taking harbor seal training to a whole new level this summer

The marine mammal trainers are always looking for new ways to engage with our seals and sea lions. This summer, Marie is connecting with one of the harbor seals in his element—underwater! Look for Marie underwater during one of the many training session that happen on our Front Plaza. And check out a short clip of an underwater kiss over on the Trainers Blog right now!

2. New Exhibit
Get the sea turtle rescue experience in our newest exhibit!

Have you seen our popular Sea Turtle Hospital yet? What are you waiting for?! This summer our newest exhibit has been captivating visitors of all ages with a special sea turtle rescue experience. Learn about our rescue team's epic efforts during this past record stranding season. Then give turtle rescue a try yourself with some of our charming replica sea turtles—fun for all ages!

3. New Cuttlefish 
Flamoyant cuttlefish were recently added to the cuttlefish exhibit

The cuttlefish exhibit just got a lot more colorful. 10 flamboyant cuttles just went on exhibit! This species is native to the western Pacific (Japan) but these were hatched our friends at Monterey Bay Aquarium. They can change colors like their cousins the octopus, have toxic skin (so the aquarists have to be careful not to touch!) and can hypnotize their prey. Whaaaaat? This you have to see.

Don't miss the the contraption in the corner of the exhibit, too. It's an incubator of sorts for the eggs that our pharaoh cuttlefish recently laid. The cuttlefish actually deposited the eggs on the coral structure in the exhibit, but our aquarists moved the eggs to the aerated bottle to protect them from hungry sea stars. The hope is that these cuttlefish will hatch out and add to the exhibit someday. Come see them grow!

4. New Penguins
Meet the new kids on the rocks!

There are a few new feathers springing around the islands of the Penguin Exhibit right now. Several chicks that hatched earlier this summer are all grown up and have joined the colony. Click over to the Penguin Blog to meet the new guys. There are some cute baby pictures that you do not want to miss.

5. New Fish
The schooling needlefish are some of the new fish you can see in the Giant Ocean Tank.

The divers just added dozens of new fish to the Giant Ocean Tank, including this haystack of needlefish. Climb to the top of the GOT to look down on these guys skimming just beneath the surface of the water. The Divers Blog also features a short underwater clip of these fish on the move!


Of course, no Aquarium adventure is complete without a visit to the IMAX theatre, with three larger-than-life underwater movies. Don't forget to swing by the Gift Shop to pick up some swag to help remember your visit (because there's no such thing as too much penguin paraphernalia). And after all that, you'll want to saunter into our waterfront restaurant The Reef for some tasty snacks and drinks for the whole family.