Exploration Center and Aquarium sets sights on the future of Narragansett Bay this December

Save The Bay’s Exploration Center and Aquarium sets sights on the future of Narragansett Bay this December

NEWPORT, R.I. – Dec. 3, 2018 – “Operation Conservation” is underway at Save The Bay’s Exploration Center and Aquarium this December! By observing the center’s many ongoing conservation efforts, engaging in hands-on science demonstrations, and participating in a number of themed activities—including a scavenger hunt and craft activity—visitors will learn about the steps already being taken to conserve Narragansett Bay, in addition to what they can do to preserve it for the future.

While conservation, or the act of protecting and preserving ecosystems, is not a new practice, it has become an increasingly critical one—especially in regions, like Rhode Island, that are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Guests to the Exploration Center and Aquarium this month can engage in a number of hands-on exhibits—including an interactive watershed model and ocean acidification demonstration—that illustrate why conservation is so important in Narragansett Bay.

Visitors will also discover that conservation can be exciting by observing the efforts currently underway—and on display—at the Exploration Center and Aquarium. The aquarium’s Grow Out Program houses juvenile marine creatures for up to a year, allowing the animals to grow larger and stronger, reducing the likelihood of predation. The Shark and Skate Conservation Program involves the breeding and releasing of chain dogfish sharks and little skates in order to conserve their populations in Narragansett Bay. The terrapin nesting enclosure seeks to encourage breeding of the aquarium’s endangered diamondback terrapins—affectionately known as Phyllis and Jerry—in hopes of introducing future generations to the wild.

Other themed activities at the aquarium this month include a scavenger hunt that uses data from past International Coastal Cleanups to draw attention to common trash and litter items, and a craft activity that allows guests to decorate their own reusable shopping bags using materials generously donated by the City of Newport.

Visitors who are interested in getting an even closer look at Bay creatures can purchase tickets to this month’s Feeding Frenzy at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 20. This exciting after-hours event allows guests to participate in the aquarium creatures’ favorite time of day: feeding time. Tickets ($10 general admission; $8 for Save The Bay members) can be purchased at savebay.org/feedingfrenzy.

The Exploration Center and Aquarium is located in the Easton’s Beach Rotunda at 175 Memorial Blvd. in Newport, Rhode Island. The center is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday-Sunday, from Labor Day to Memorial Day. During the holiday season, the aquarium will also be open daily December 26-30.

General admission to the Aquarium is $8; $7 for seniors and college students with ID; and free for children under 3 and Save The Bay Family Members. The Exploration Center and Aquarium also now offers free general admission to all military and first responders with current ID, as well as a reduced admission of $7 for their guests.

For more information about the Exploration Center and Aquarium, visit savebay.org/aquarium or call 401-324-6020. The Exploration Center and Aquarium is supported, in part, by Corvias Solutions.

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About Save The Bay: Founded in 1970, Save The Bay works to protect and improve Narragansett Bay and its watershed through advocacy, education, and restoration efforts. It envisions a fully swimmable, fishable, healthy Narragansett Bay, accessible to everyone and globally recognized as an environmental treasure.

*Please note:  Be sure to access the Johnson & Wales University Harborside Campus through the main entrance on Harborside Blvd. Your GPS may suggest taking Ernest Street to JWU’s Shipyard Street entrance, but that route requires a key card for entry.  

From Route I-95 North or South, take Exit 18 (Thurbers Avenue). Head downhill on Thurbers Avenue to US Route 1A (Allens Avenue). Turn right onto Allens Ave. Continue southbound on Allens Ave. into Cranston, where Allens Ave. becomes Narragansett Blvd. Turn left onto Harborside Blvd. at the traffic light by the Shell gas station. Follow Harborside Blvd. through the Johnson & Wales Harborside Campus. At the end of Harborside Blvd., turn right onto Save The Bay Drive. Save The Bay Drive becomes a circular, one-way roadway as you approach the Bay Center. Parking is available in four guest lots after you pass the main building. Enter the building through the main entrance.

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