Citizen Science Opportunities

Be a citizen scientist! See below for information on how you can get involved with our ongoing research projects.

Horseshoe Crab Tagging

tagged Horseshoe crab swimming along the bottom of a tank.

This tag-and-release research/education project focuses on population ecology of the horseshoe crab (Limulus polyphemus) in Long Island Sound.

Jennifer Mattei of Sacred Heart University's Biology Department is the principle investigator of this long-term community-wide research project. The Maritime Aquarium participates by training volunteers to tag and collect data on horseshoe crabs encountered during field studies.

Horseshoe crabs have great ecological and biomedical importance. Survival of migratory shorebirds has been linked to the horseshoe crab's breeding season as these birds depend on horseshoe crab eggs as a food source to fuel a 9,000-mile migration. Additionally, a component in horseshoe crab blood is used to detect bacterial contamination in manufactured drugs and other pharmaceutical products. By understanding the population dynamics of this species, we will be better able to manage their harvest and prevent their extinction.

Frog Watch U.S.A

dwarf frog hanging on a leaf stem.

Frogs and toads play a crucial role in wetland ecosystems and are considered indicators of environmental health. Many frog and toad populations have been in decline, and it is important to understand the scope, geographic scale, and cause of these declines. FrogWatch USA is a national citizen science project run through AZA focused on inspiring conservation through education. Once volunteers are trained to identify frogs in by their unique calls, they select a local wetland to monitor through the spring and summer.

We are have partnered with The Yale Peabody Museum and Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo to form the Peabody-Beardsley-Maritime Chapter.

Training sessions for the 2020 season will be announced soon.

Terrapin Trackers

The Diamondback Terrapin (Malaclemys t. terrapin) is a species of special concern in Connecticut. One of the greatest threats to turtles, including the diamondback terrapin, is road mortality. In an effort to mitigate car strikes, the Terrapin Tracking Project was developed by The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), The Connecticut Department of Transportation, The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, and Western Connecticut State University. Trained citizen scientists are assigned a roadway to monitor for terrapin mortalities once a week from May through September. Basic data such as location, time, condition, and gender as well as photographs are collected.

City Nature Challenge

What started as friendly between Los Angeles and San Francisco to see which city could make the most observations of nature in 2016 has expanded to an international 4-day bioblitz challenge. We are excited to be the first institution in Connecticut to participate in 2020. On April 24-27, we are encouraging Fairfield County to get outside and make observations using the iNaturalist platforms.

Trainings and additional information will be available soon!

Our Mission

Mission: The Maritime Aquarium inspires people of all ages to appreciate and protect the Long Island Sound ecosystem and the global environment through living exhibits, marine science, and environmental education.


Contact Us

Open Daily 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Phone: (203) 852-0700

10 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT 06854

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