News Column

'Living Seashore' exhibit to open at National Aquarium in spring

August 25, 2014

By Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun

Aug. 25--A new exhibit will open next spring at the National Aquarium featuring horseshoe crabs and moon jellies among waves, beaches and dunes, the Inner Harbor attraction announced Monday.

The $5.5 million "Living Seashore" exhibit, which will span 2,700 square feet, is designed to teach visitors about the "ever-changing Mid-Atlantic seashore." More than 150 animals will live in the display that will include two large touch pools filled with 5,331 gallons of salt water and a replicated sandy shore.

"The new Living Seashore exhibit will give guests a one-of-a-kind, hands-on experience with some of the very creatures we're working to preserve and protect," National Aquarium CEO John Racanelli said in a statement. "The Mid-Atlantic seashore is a local aquatic treasure, and a seemingly familiar place to many.

"But, as our guests will soon discover, fascinating stories await them; stories of the secret lives of seashore animals and plants, as well as the people who are dedicated to keeping our beaches and coast healthy."

The exhibit is part of a $10.5 million upgrade to the 33-year-old aquarium building.

Visitors will be able to interact with aquarium experts to learn more about how to responsibly take a trip to the beach and help ensure the conservation of the animals that live there.

The display also will include a tactile discovery wall that brings a "slice of the beach" to eye level, according to aquarium officials. Visitors will be invited to pledge to protect local aquatic life and ecosystems at the exhibit's digital Shore Hero Conservation Station.

"Through meaningful experiences with animals, interpreters and some very cool interactive exhibits, we hope to inspire people to action by giving them the tools to make everyday choices that will positively affect the health of our very own Chesapeake Bay and the ocean beyond," Racanelli said in a statement.

The exhibit will be located in the aquarium's Pier 3 Pavilion as part of Level 3's Blue Wonders: Reefs to Rainforests. The space has been used as a backup area, officials said.


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Source: Baltimore Sun (MD)

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