Community Science Opportunities

Be a community scientist by getting involved with our ongoing research projects! For more information on these programs, please email

City Nature Challenge

Invented by community science staff at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (Lila Higgins) and California Academy of Sciences (Alison Young). The City Nature Challenge is an international effort for people to find and document plants and wildlife in cities across the globe. It’s a bioblitz-style competition where cities are in a contest against each other to see who can make the most observations of nature, who can find the most species, and who can engage the most people.

Thanks to everyone who joined us for the 2023 challenge!

Freshwater Mussels of Connecticut Project

Freshwater mussels are one of the most imperiled groups of animals in the United States. Nearly 35 species have gone extinct in the last 100 years. Today, of the 12 freshwater mussel species found in Connecticut, seven are endangered, threatened, or are species of concern.

Frog Watch U.S.A.

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 community science project run through the Akron Zoo 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 have partnered with Yale's Peabody Museum of Natural History and Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo to form the Peabody-Beardsley-Maritime Chapter.

Thank you to those who participated in our 2023 trainings!

Great Backyard Bird Count

Love birds? Get involved in this annual community science initiative!

Each February, for four days, the world comes together for the love of birds. Over these four days, we invite people to spend time in their favorite places watching and counting as many birds as they can find and reporting them. These observations help scientists better understand global bird populations before one of their annual migrations.

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.

Sacred Heart University leads 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.

Terrapin Tracking Team

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 coastal roadway to monitor for terrapin mortalities once a week from April through August. Trained monitors need to be 18 years or older. Children can accompany a trained adult. 

Thank you to those who participated in our 2023 trainings!


For more information on these programs, please email

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

Directions Contact Us