Thursday, March 26, 2015

Celebrate World Oceans Day with the Aquarium!


Enjoy hands-on, family-friendly activities, seafood cooking demos, tastings and more. And learn how you can help protect the oceans, too!

Sunday, June 7
11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Central Wharf, Boston

Participating partners include
Boston Harbor Cruises
Ben & Jerry's
Magic 106.7
Boston Sea Rovers
New England Aqurium Dive Club
Charles River Watershed Association
Rozalia Project
Shoals Marine Laboratory


Check this page as we get closer to the event for details about how you can win tickets to a special World Oceans Day Boston Duck Tour excursion.

The best part of World Oceans Day: All activities are free and open to the public, but this does not include Aquarium admission. There's even more to come about this special event, so keep checking back. We hope to see you here on Central Wharf June 7!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The New England Right Whale Festival

Sunday, May 3, 2015
11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Come to the New England Aquarium to celebrate the current efforts to save North Atlantic right whales from extinction. The Aquarium is teaming up with the Calvineers—a group from the Adams School in Castine, Maine—to invite the public to learn from local scientists, researchers and educators about the variety of efforts taking place in our backyard to protect this species.

The festival will take place at the Aquarium's Harbor View Terrace Tent rain or shine. There will be opportunities to learn more about right whales, meet right whale scientists and take part in family-friendly activities. The event is free; Aquarium admission is not included.

Organization represented include*:

Audubon Society of Rhode Island
Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary
NOAA Fisheries Northeast Regional Office
New Bedford Whaling Museum
Whales and Dolphin Conservation
New England Aquarium

*If your organization works for right whales and would like to participate, please fill out this registration form by April 10, 2015. Each organization is asked to provide a hands-on activity to help  engage families in the group's mission. But never fear, you do not need to have programming planned. The Education department at New England Aquarium can work with you on how to present your work in a family-friendly way.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Aquarium CEO honored with a plaza naming in San Diego

Nigella Hillgarth, the New England Aquarium’s President and CEO, was in San Diego last week to receive the honor of having a plaza named for her at the University of California San Diego’s Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Hillgarth was Executive Director at the Birch Aquarium from 2002 to 2014 before coming to Boston last summer.

Nigella addresses attendees at event.

Called the Nigella Hillgarth Education Plaza, the outdoor courtyard is part of a $6 million gift from Robert E. and Allison Price of Price Philanthropies, a family foundation connected to PriceSmart, Inc., the largest operator of membership warehouse clubs in Latin America. The gift will help expand the aquarium’s science education efforts for young people and schools in San Diego County.

In the Birch Aquarium newsletter, the Prices said their interest in the environment led to a connection with Hillgarth. “For me personally, the connection really grew out of the relationship with Nigella,” Robert Price said. “We remember Birch Aquarium from the old days when it was down below, and pretty primitive. I think what really changed our attitude and feelings about the aquarium was Nigella … her vision, and also her passion.”

Nigella at New England Aquarium's marine mammal center

Hillgarth, who was born in rural Ireland and educated at Oxford University, was attracted to the position in Boston because of the Aquarium’s important research and conservation efforts in places as remote as the Phoenix Islands in the Pacific Ocean and as close as Boston Harbor.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Meme-tastic Lobster!

Have you seen this lobster? This young fellow is an American lobster (Homarus americanus) who made the rounds on the internet a couple years ago, accompanied by lots of snarky captions. 

Reddit superstar

For example, here's a humorous thread on Reddit. OK, hold the eye rolls.
  • He's the best writer we can get in a pinch!
  • He overseas the whole department
  • He's pretty crabby about deadlines though
  • And I hear he's shellfish about giving out bonuses.
  • Tough crab, they didnt check the special claws in the employment contract.
  • He never takes the elevator with anyone, he's kinda clawstrophobic. 

What you may not know is this guy got his start right here at the New England Aquarium's Lobster Research Lab. Aquarium scientists investigate nutritional requirements and lobster shell disease.  As part of this research, they raise baby lobsters right here on Central Wharf.

Lobsters at lots of different ages call the Aquarium home. This fellow is probably around 2 years old. 

You might have seen some of these babies in our lobster nursery in the Blue Planet Action Center
Others live in our Prescott Laboratory, where scientists examine what factors might predispose lobsters to getting shell disease. Shell disease is caused by bacteria that settle on a lobster’s shell. The bacteria eat away the shell, resulting in thin areas called lesions. Although the disease is not usually lethal, the unattractive appearance of the animal makes it unsuitable to market and thus has an impact on the lobster fishery. Learn more about this research here.

Here's the lobster from a different angle, snapped on the lab's camera.

And if this meme ever resurfaces, you'll know where this wee lobster got its start—the New England Aquarium Lobster Research Laboratory, where it is helping researchers understand threats to lobsters and how we can help them!

There's lots more to learn about lobsters. Check out these awesome crustacean posts:

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

It's St. Patrick's Day! Meet some awesome green animals

We're celebrating St. Patrick's Day with a special look at some of the green animals from our blue planet that you can meet here at the Aquarium. Not only are their colors pretty festive, but they're actually pretty cool animals! Take a click around—you might just learn something, too.

Green moray eel
Green can be pretty fierce with a mouthful of razor sharp teeth and the slinky swimming of the green moray eel in the Giant Ocean Tank.

See how a moray eel—with all those teeth—get check-ups at the Aquarium.

A green moray cruises the Giant Ocean Tank

Green sea anemone
The green sea anemone may not be one of the most charismatic ocean animals. But its vibrant colors and feats of strength make this tidepool resident worthy of a closer look!

Watch the video on the Exhibit Galleries Blog. (Pro tip: Wait for it...)

Find the green sea anemones (and sea star neighbors) in the Northern Waters gallery's Pacific tidepool display

Green anaconda
Anacondas are the largest snakes in the world. Using their powerful bodies to squeeze their prey, they tighten their grip every time the animal exhales, until it cannot take another breath. Then, they swallow their food whole.

Meet the Aquarium's longest residents on the Exhibit Galleries Blog.

Snakes on St. Patrick's Day — the irony is not lost on us

Green sea turtle
While green sea turtles spend most of their time in warmer water, young turtles sometimes spend their summers in New England waters. Myrtle, the undisputed queen of the Giant Ocean Tank, is estimated to be around 90 years old.

See lots of Myrtle on the Divers Blog.

Green Sea Urchin
The green sea urchin (Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis) comes from the class of animals called  Echinoidea, which means "like a hedgehog." Can you guess why?

Keep reading on the Exhibits Galleries blog.

Green sea urchins can be found in our hands-on tidepool touch area as well as exhibits featuring local species.

Hope you have a Happy St. Patrick's Day! And if you want to add a little more green to your day, come by the New England Aquarium today.