Today: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
The Maritime Aquarium is proud to be participating in a sea turtle loan program created by the three North Carolina Aquariums, N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and local sea turtle rescue organizations. Each year, staff and volunteers inspect turtle nests on the beaches to look for "Stragglers" - newly hatched turtles that, for various reasons, didn’t make it out of nests.
These young turtles are rescued and then raised for a year at loan institutions, before being returned to North Carolina the following fall for release into the Gulf Stream.
Aquarium staff will repeat the process each October: travel to North Carolina to release a year-old loggerhead and then bring a new hatchling back to Norwalk.
Be sure to stop by our "Sea Turtle Nursery" exhibit during your next visit!
The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk partners to provide accurate data for water quality in the Long Island Sound through several collaborations. This includes the water quality and climate work TMA does with the MYSound program of the University of Connecticut gathering live data on water quality parameters through a sonde at The Maritime Aquarium dock. In 2017, The Maritime Aquarium also began doing bimonthly sampling on the R/V Spirit of the Sound to enhance water quality data for Long Island Sound harbors through participating in the Unified Water Study with Save the Sound. Nutrient data, oxygen, temperature, salinity, and chlorophyll data area all collected in order to determine the status of water quality in the harbors of the Long Island Sound. This is all part of important continued monitoring and synthesis of Long Island Sound water quality data collected by TMA and partners to report changes and recommend best practices.
It’s the quantity of plant and animal species found in an environment. (The word is contraction of “biological diversity.”) The more diverse a habitat, the better chance it has of surviving a change or threat to it, because it is more likely to be able to make a balancing adjustment. Habitats with little biodiversity (e.g., Arctic tundra) are more vulnerable to change.
The Long Island Sound Biodiversity Database is a searchable web resource to monitor species trends on Long Island Sound. Partners collecting data include The Maritime Aquarium, SoundWaters, SoundKeeper and the Bridgeport Aquaculture School.
Data is collected on 125 species of marine organism and water quality variables including pH, salinity, temperature, turbidity and dissolved oxygen. You can go to the database at the link below and run your own reports by clicking here. The public user name is Public User and the password is password. (They are case sensitive.)
Biodiversity monitoring is important to identify data needs for population estimates for species of importance to the Sound, both native and invasive. To underscore the importance of continual sampling, current TMA staff have identified invasive species in the Sound in the past that are potential threats to aquaculture assets. Additionally, using TMA’s long-term trawling and collection dataset in conjunction with other publicly-available data sets from the LIS, TMA researchers will analyze the patterns of change of assemblages of animals in the LIS with those in surrounding waters to contextualize how this environment is changing and how native species are shifting their geography to combat it.
For more information on how to use the database or involve your group or class to collect data, please contact Dr. Dave Hudson at (203) 852-0700, ext. 2304.
The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk is working to improve the health of wild populations of sharks by collaborating with SEZARC and a consortium of zoos and aquariums to better understand how sand tiger sharks reproduce, both in our facility and out in the wild. Critical questions about where they go and what they do during different times of their lives are being answered through partnering to track these animals in the wild. This species is doing well in the U.S., but like all sharks, have populations that are not doing so great in places like Argentina, Australia, and South Africa.
The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk is working to support sea turtle conservation by raising awareness about these majestic seasonal visitors. By supporting conservation in the Atlantic Ocean through our Loggerhead Loan partnership with the North Carolina Aquariums, and early sea turtle nursery work in the Caribbean, The Maritime Aquarium is driving forward partnerships that will be critical to public education, outreach and rescue that will help save these species.
In the United States, horseshoe crabs have historically been exploited for fertilizer, bait, and now biomedical applications. While the fertilizer market has dropped off, there are still threats to this important species, whose eggs are used by migratory birds during their long flights. The species in Long Island Sound, Limulus polyphemus, is not in great shape locally. As such, The Maritime Aquarium is enhancing its efforts to conserve this species through enhanced field tracking, greater education, and support of better animal husbandry practices and breeding. A signature program for The Maritime Aquarium is the horseshoe crab tagging and tracking program, run through its partners at Sacred Heart University and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Click here to see how you can become involved.