We've taken a few educational boat trips over the years but yours was by far the best all-around experience. The highlight had to be the breadth of sea life we pulled up and got a chance to investigate, interact with and, of course, learn about."
– Rockland County, NY, camp director
Horseshoe Crab Tagging Training
Attend one: Wed., May 8 at 7 p.m. or Sun., May 12 at 7 p.m.
It may not occur with the passion of Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr, but the spring moons soon will be drawing male and female horseshoe crabs up onto our beaches for an annual mating ritual.
Staff from The Maritime Aquarium will be on hand to greet them. But your help is needed.
We're seeking volunteers to help attach census tags to horseshoe crabs as the crabs come up out of the water to spawn at Calf Pasture Beach. It’s all part of a census of horseshoe crabs in Long Island Sound, being led by Dr. Jennifer Mattei of Sacred Heart University in Fairfield. The Maritime Aquarium is assisting with the census and tagging.
Dr. Mattei’s census is establishing a baseline crab population and will reveal horseshoe crab migrations and any changes in numbers or behaviors. The data is needed because horseshoe crab eggs are an important food source for migrating shorebirds. If the horseshoe crab population declined, that could mean fewer birds on our coastline.
Horseshoe crabs come up onto beaches on the nights of the full and new moons. That’s a tagging bonanza time for researchers, so extra volunteers are needed to help.
To participate, volunteers should attend one of two training sessions at the Aquarium: at 7 p.m. on either Wed., May 8 or Sun., May 12. They’ll learn about the natural history of horseshoe crabs, what has been learned so far from the census work, and how to safely tag horseshoe crabs. Volunteers should be in 10th grade or older. Younger children can assist if working with a parent, teacher or guardian.
Tagging sessions at Calf Pasture will be held on selected mornings and evenings later in the month of May and also in June.
See what our volunteer divers see in this video:
For reservations, Purchase tickets online (click on the date you wish to come) or call The Maritime Aquarium at (203) 852-0700, ext. 2206. Space is limited.
Toy Boat-Making Workshop
11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays & Sundays.
Visit the Toy Boat-Making area on weekends for a fun 20-minute boat-building project. Build and decorate a toy sailboat to take home as a special keepsake of your Maritime Aquarium visit. Cost: $5 per child (in addition to Aquarium admission).