This March: The Terrific Turtles of Narragansett Bay

The “Terrific Turtles” of Narragansett Bay shine at Save The Bay’s Exploration Center and Aquarium this March

NEWPORT, R.I. – March 7, 2019 – Save The Bay’s Exploration Center and Aquarium is putting the turtles of Narragansett Bay at the center of this month’s exhibits and programming. Visitors can learn about a variety of local turtles and their adaptations, participate in a “turtle food” scavenger hunt, listen to a story, or even craft their own turtle! The aquarium, located at the Easton’s Beach Rotunda in Newport, is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Friday-Sunday.

Seven turtle species are permanent residents to the bodies of fresh water in the Narragansett Bay watershed, and even more varieties migrate through the region. These turtles have unique adaptations that allow them to survive in the wild. Their recognizable shell, or carapace, offers protection from predators. The snapping turtle, one of the largest turtles in Rhode Island, is commonly found feeding on anything it can snap up, from worms to waterfowl. The diamondback terrapin—the only turtle in the world that survives and thrives in brackish water—hibernates in winter by burying itself deep in the mud and sand of its marsh or pond.

Visitors can observe both of these species at the Exploration Center and Aquarium, including “Bowser,” a polydactyl (extra-toed) snapping turtle, that has lived at the center since being rescued from Easton’s Beach as a hatchling. “Phyllis” and “Jerry,” a pair of diamondback terrapins, live in a nesting enclosure that has been designed to encourage this Rhode Island endangered species to breed. Other residents at the aquarium include newcomer “Smalls,” an eastern painted turtle, spotted turtles, and a stinkpot (musk) turtle.

Guests interested in seeing more Bay creatures in action can purchase tickets to Feeding Frenzy, an event that allows guests to participate in the aquarium creatures’ favorite time of day: feeding time. Feeding Frenzy will take place at 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 21. 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. General admission to the Exploration Center and Aquarium is $8; $7 for seniors and college students with ID; and free for children under 3 and Save The Bay Family members. The aquarium 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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