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.

Spring 2020 Training Sessions

Thursday, May 7 from 7-8 p.m. at The Maritime Aquarium - Click Here to Register

Thursday, May 14 from 7-8 p.m. at The Maritime Aquarium - Click Here to Register

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 U.S.A. is a national citizen science project run through A.Z.A. focused on inspiring conservation through education. Once volunteers are trained to identify frogs 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.

Terrapin Trackers

The Diamondback Terrapin (Malaclemys t. terrapin) is a species of special concern in the state of 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 April through September. Trained monitors need to be 18 years or older. Children can accompany a trained adult. 

City Nature Challenge

What is the City Nature Challenge?

Join us in making observations of plants and animals – either near the Aquarium or in your neighborhood – April 24-27 as part of a worldwide “bio-blitz” called the City Nature Challenge.

The Maritime Aquarium is organizing Fairfield County’s effort of this four-day international event, which pits metro areas in a contest to see who can make the most observations of nature, find the most species and engage the most people.

The City Nature Challenge was started in 2016 as a competition between staff of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles and the California Academy of Sciences. It has expanded rapidly. During the 2019 City Nature Challenge, more than 35,000 people in 159 cities uploaded 963,000 observations to the iNaturalist app/website.

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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.

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Phone: (203) 852-0700

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Norwalk, CT 06854

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