The New England Aquarium is celebrating World Ocean Day with activities that bring attention to the importance of protecting the ocean for future generations. People of all ages are invited to Central Wharf on Sunday, June 4, to celebrate, learn about and take action to protect special places in our ocean. Programming will be focused on the global conservation initiative 30×30, which aims to protect 30% of land and water by the year 2030. While June 8 traditionally marks World Ocean Day, the Aquarium is hoping to draw more people to Boston’s waterfront by offering weekend programming.
Outside the Aquarium on June 4, the public can take part in a variety of free activities from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.:
- “Ask a Scientist” booth – Aquarium scientists will be on Central Wharf Plaza to share their work protecting the ocean and the amazing species that live there. Each hour of the day will have a different theme.
- Life-size humpback whale – Representatives from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary will join the celebration on the plaza, alongside a 43-foot humpback whale named “Salt” (weather permitting).
- Marine art station – the Aquarium’s back tent will come to life with several vendors, including local artist and UMass environmental science student Martin Kalere, who will lead an ocean animal art activity to inspire budding scientific illustrators.
- Composting activity – the Aquarium’s ClimaTeens group is leading an activity in the tent on the impacts composting can have on climate change and where participants can find composting options in their own communities.
- Spotlight on marine protected areas – guests can record their thoughts on marine protected areas and learn more about how they can help make a positive impact on the ocean. This booth located in the tent will give participants an opportunity to communicate directly with their legislators.
- Latino connections to the ocean and coast – the Hispanic Access Foundation will share information on the vital relationship between Latinos and our ocean. Using bilingual conservation toolkits, environmental community leaders will provide a guide detailing the impact of water and climate issues on Latino communities and highlight their own work to empower others to take action.
The Aquarium is also providing programming inside from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for guests who purchase tickets. Please note that during busy times, such as weekends, guests are strongly encouraged to reserve tickets in advance as the Aquarium can sell out.
- Special presentations – Aquarium staff will deliver short presentations focused on how taking action to protect the ocean at a local level can lead to global impact. The programming will be available at the penguin exhibit, top of the Giant Ocean Tank, in the New Balance Foundation Marine Mammal Center, and at the Atlantic harbor seal habitat.
- Tracking ocean animals – Aquarium educators will lead an activity focused on highly migratory species in the ocean and why it is important to protect key areas that impact their survival, such as feeding grounds and nurseries.
- Scavenger hunt – inside and outside the Aquarium, visitors can participate in a scavenger hunt with three raffle grand prizes, including admission passes, New England Aquarium Whale Watch tickets and a sea lion encounter.
The Aquarium’s summer hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week. Tickets can be reserved in advance at neaq.org.