A New Aquarium, A New Experience

A New Save The Bay Aquarium

In September 2021, Save The Bay made headlines with the news that we had entered into agreements with the City of Newport and the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority to move our Exploration Center and Aquarium—currently located at Easton’s Beach—to the first floor of the Gateway Transportation and Visitors Center on America’s Cup Avenue.

The exciting task of renovating the space and building a new Aquarium is already underway, and we look forward to opening our doors in Summer 2023. In the meantime, we recommend checking this page frequently, as we will continue to provide updates and sneak peeks over the course of the project.

Our Exploration Center and Aquarium at Easton’s Beach remains open and ready to introduce you to the world beneath the waves of Narragansett Bay. Learn more about current admission and hours at savebay.org/aquarium

Project Partners

DBVW Architects
Infrastructure and facility design services

Exhibit design and fabrication

Life support systems design and installation

Specialty lighting design

Farrar & Associates
Construction management

A mission-anchored project

Save The Bay’s mission is to protect and improve Narragansett Bay. Our vision? A fully swimmable, fishable, healthy Narragansett Bay, accessible to all. We carry out our mission, and work toward our vision, through three areas of work: advocacy, education, and habitat restoration and adaptation.

Our “Explore The Bay” environmental education programs are core to our advocacy mission. We seek to inspire the next generation of Bay stewards with hands-on, experiential education programs that connect students to Narragansett Bay on our education vessels, in the field, in their classrooms, and at our aquarium.

Our current Exploration Center and Aquarium opened on the first floor of the Easton’s Beach Rotunda in 2006. Through school programs and general admission, we have been connecting students of all ages to the wonders of Narragansett Bay ever since.

Why relocate?

Our move to the Gateway Center will increase the square footage of our Aquarium five-fold. With 6,500-square feet to work with—versus 1,200 at our current location—we have substantially more room to expand and enrich our educational programs, while bringing a brand-new experience to downtown Newport. With this new space, we will be able to…

  • Expand our partnerships with local schools
  • Increase the number of students participating in school-day and after-school programs
  • Provide summer educational programs
  • Serve more schools from across Rhode Island
  • Connect habitat field programs, boat-based programs and Aquarium experiences in new ways

Plus, the new space will enable us to explore new community engagement opportunities. We look forward to further developing our plans to:

  • Offer new Bay-related cultural events
  • Build new partnerships with local organizations
  • Increase volunteer, internship and job training opportunities
  • Expand educational partnerships with universities and colleges

Other benefits of the new site include:

  • Access to public transportation

  • A secure, resilient location, out of harm’s way from storms and rising seas

  • Adjacent public parking

  • Proximity to Newport Harbor and public docks

  • Easy walking distance from downtown

An Aquarium like no other

Our Exploration Center and Aquarium has always been a unique, one-of-a-kind destination, and our new Aquarium will continue the tradition. Not only is the entire facility built around an advocacy mission that supports the very species you see in our tanks, but we also follow a unique set of practices that set us apart from other aquariums—and the new Aquarium will be no different:

  • Our entire collection of marine life is sourced locally, and most animals are returned to the wild (unless they are injured, sick or non-native)

  • Our exhibits will be grouped by habitat type to emphasize the importance of conservation and restoration

  • We offer more hands-on, interactive and engaging exhibits than much larger institutions

  • Guests and students are invited to engage with staff and docents and are encouraged to take action to protect the environment

  • The Aquarium will include flexible space for traveling exhibits, and community space for school groups, special events, and meetings