Opened in July 1988, The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk offers visitors of all ages the opportunity to have a good time while learning about the vital natural resource just off our shore: Long Island Sound. Set in a refurbished 1860s factory at the mouth of the Norwalk River, the Aquarium building and its location reflect the region’s industrial past and human uses of Long Island Sound for recreation and commerce.
Visitors explore at their own pace, observing 34 exhibits featuring more than 1,200 marine animals of 259 species. The Long Island Sound journey begins along a freshwater river and the shallow waters of the salt marsh, then moves into deeper and deeper habitats out to the open ocean. These close encounters with animals, enhanced by friendly volunteer interpreters and informative display panels, educate visitors about the aquatic life of Long Island Sound and its watershed.
The sharks, seals, river otters, sea turtles and other animals, carefully tended in re-created natural settings, serve as ambassadors both for their species and the Sound’s natural environment. These intimate encounters are the heart of the learning experience and provide visitors – children especially – with a basis for understanding their role in the web of life.
The Maritime Aquarium also boasts Connecticut's largest IMAX Theater, with a movie screen that's six stories high. This dynamic venue offers an immersing, larger-than-life experience that extend the educational themes beyond Long Island Sound and into other natural or cultural arenas. In the evening, an exciting run of Hollywood films, digitally remastered into the IMAX format, offers a reason to return after-hours and serves as an attraction to a new audience.
Learn more about our mission, our history, our results (educationally and economically) and more via the links at left.
Governor Dannel Malloy talks about The Maritime Aquarium on a recent visit: