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The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk Named Finalist for 2022 IMLS National Medal for Museum and Library Service 

Media Contacts 

Maritime Aquarium contact:  Dave Sigworth,, 203-852-0700, x 2232 

IMLS contact:  Brittany Vanderpool,, 202-248-5487 


NORWALK, Conn. — The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) announced today that The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk is among 30 finalists for the 2022 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the second year in a row that the Aquarium has achieved the honor. 

The Maritime Aquarium is one of two institutions in Connecticut to be selected as a finalist for the 2022 award. The Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury is also a finalist. The Maritime Aquarium is the only U.S. aquarium up for the honor. 

Jason Patlis, President and CEO of The Maritime Aquarium, said being named an IMLS National Medal finalist is a tremendous honor. 

“We thank IMLS for again affirming the positive values that The Maritime Aquarium contributes to the cultural, educational, economic and environmental well-being of the community in Norwalk and the region,” Patlis said. “To be recognized two years in a row speaks to the resilience and commitment of the team here at the Aquarium, especially as the pandemic challenged our very survival and yet we expanded our educational programs, opened new exhibits and created new initiatives to address societal priorities toward diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion.” 

The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries that demonstrate significant impact in their communities. For more than 25 years, the award has honored institutions that demonstrate excellence in service to their communities. 

IMLS Director Crosby Kemper congratulated all 30 finalists. 

“So many museums, so many libraries have done such good work over the last two very difficult years. We are proud to present the 30 finalists for the IMLS National Medal,” Kemper said. “Their work is emblematic of the response of the library and museum worlds to simultaneously fulfilling their mission and serving their communities.” 

To celebrate this honor, IMLS is encouraging The Maritime Aquarium’s community members to share stories, memories, pictures and videos on social media using the #ShareYourStory and #IMLSmedals hashtags, and engage with IMLS on Facebook and Twitter. For more information, please visit the IMLS website:

National Medal winners will be announced in early June. Representatives from winning institutions will be honored for their extraordinary contributions during a virtual National Medal Ceremony this summer. 

To see the full list of finalists and learn more about the National Medal, go to

Learn more about Maritime Aquarium exhibits, programs and conservation work at


About the Institute of Museum and Library Services  

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's libraries and museums. We advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. Our vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook and Twitter

About The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk 

An accredited member of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA), The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit institution whose mission is to inspire 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. It accomplishes this by allowing visitors to get close to more than 350 species native to the Sound and its watershed, including sharks, seals, sea turtles, river otters and jellyfish. One of the top places for family fun in Connecticut, the Aquarium also features a multipurpose 4D movie theater, hands-on educational programs – including a slate of live nationally recognized virtual programs for schools – as well as public cruises out onto the Sound aboard the nation’s first hybrid-electric research vessel. 

Posted by Brianne Faust at 6:00 AM
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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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