Visitors discover creatures of the deep sea at Save The Bay’s Exploration Center & Aquarium in April
Dive into the mysteries of the deep at Save The Bay’s Exploration Center and Aquarium this April. Visitors of all ages can explore the center’s month-long theme, "Deep Sea Discoveries," by participating in a craft or scavenger hunt, attending a storytime, or by coming face-to-face with the aquarium’s current residents. Guests will learn all about the adaptations that help marine creatures survive in deep ocean waters, including bioluminescence and biofluorescence. The aquarium, located at the Easton’s Beach Rotunda in Newport, is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Friday-Sunday, and will open daily during school vacation, April 12-21.
Far below visible ocean waters is a landscape devoid of sunlight. The native species that live in these areas have developed amazing traits to enable their survival, including bioluminescence and biofluorescence. Bioluminescence is an internal chemical reaction that allows a creature to light up in order to find food, discover shelter, or as self-defense; whereas biofluorescence refers to an organism’s ability to absorb the blue light of the deep ocean, resulting in a red, orange, or green glowing appearance.
Aquarium visitors will have the opportunity to discover some of the glowing creatures of Narragansett Bay this month, including two of the most common species: the comb jellyfish and the chain catshark. Comb jellies are vibrantly bioluminescent, with rows of glowing cilia that are used to attract zooplankton and other prey. Chain catsharks, on the other hand, have been known to glow a brilliant green at depths where blue light is predominant, though the reason for this adaptation is still unclear.
Guests interested in seeing more Bay creatures in action can purchase tickets to a Feeding Frenzy, a monthly event that allows guests to assist with the aquarium critters’ favorite time of day: feeding time. Feeding Frenzies will take place during school vacation week on Tuesday, April 16 and Thursday, April 18 from 5-6 p.m. Tickets ($10 general admission; $8 for Save The Bay members) can be purchased at savebay.org/feedingfrenzy.
On Saturday, April 27, the Exploration Center and Aquarium will be the site of Save The Bay’s Earth Day Birthday party. The family-friendly event will start with a beach cleanup from 10 a.m. – noon, followed by an afternoon of games, activities, live music, performances, and more, in and around the Easton's Beach rotunda complex. Save The Bay’s Exploration Center and Aquarium will be open and free to the public from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., as will the Carousel at Easton's Beach. Learn more about the Earth Day Birthday party at savebay.org/earth-day-birthday.
The Exploration Center and Aquarium is located in the Easton’s Beach Rotunda at 175 Memorial Blvd. in Newport, Rhode Island. General admission to the Exploration Center and Aquarium is $8; $7 for seniors and college students with ID; and free for children under 3 and Save The Bay Family members. The aquarium also now offers free general admission to all military and first responders with current ID, as well as a reduced admission of $7 for their guests. For more information about the Exploration Center and Aquarium, visit savebay.org/aquarium or call 401-324-6020. The Exploration Center and Aquarium is supported, in part, by Corvias.