Hands-on Events Attract Crowds to NEFSC Labs

May 23, 2018

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NOAA logo depicted in bathymetry on the sand table at the Sandy Hook Lab Open House

Live fish, hands-on exhibits and a chance to talk with researchers attracted thousands of visitors to events at NEFSC facilities in May.

Sandy Hook Lab Open House

Despite the rainy forecast for the James J. Howard Marine Sciences Laboratory Annual Open House on May 20, the event was still a huge success!

More than 1,500 visitors toured the lab, part of the Ocean Fun Days events, learning about deep sea water habitats and bathymetry, the impacts of ocean acidification, fish migration, fish behavior, research vessels, cooperative research and marine chemistry. Scientists spoke about environmental effects and climate change on fisheries and contaminant risks to young fish, and visitors could learn about local fish, crabs, and other sea creatures in the touch tanks and other hands-on interactive displays. Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ6), stopped by for a visit with his family and a staff member. 

Science of the shoreline, coastal environment and energy-related themed activities were also offered on Saturday, May 19 during Ocean Fun Day activities at Island Beach State Park in Seaside Park, New Jersey. Representatives from the Sandy Hook Laboratory and the NEFSC Northeast Fisheries Observer Program attended. Ocean Fun Days is sponsored by New Jersey Natural Gas in partnership with New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium, NOAA, New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection Division of Parks and Forestry, and the Asbury Park Press.

Endangered Species Day in Woods Hole MA and Bangor ME

Endangered Species Day is an annual celebration and an opportunity for the public to learn about endangered and threatened species and what we can all do to help. It is held on the third Friday in May, but many activities are celebrated throughout the month of May. The NEFSC's endangered species researchers took full advantage of the theme to help people better understand their work.

Kid Central Festival 2018 in Bangor

A variety of family-oriented activities and art projects at the Bangor Public Library highlighted Atlantic sturgeon, Atlantic salmon and other endangered species in Maine. Children’s activities included endangered species crafts and Atlantic salmon fish printing. The event was one of many activities held on May 5 in downtown Bangor as part of Kid Central Fest 2018.

Woods Hole Science Aquarium

More than 225 visitors from several states and four countries learned about endangered whales, sea turtles and Atlantic salmon May 19 at Endangered Species Day at the Woods Hole Science Aquarium. The two-hour event offered hands-on activities, exhibits and the opportunity to talk with NEFSC researchers who study these animals in the laboratory and at sea. An arts and crafts table for young visitors was a popular spot to color, decorate paper turtle shells, and make a hanging jellyfish or Atlantic salmon wind sock. Many families, high school and college students, local residents and visitors to the area enjoyed the special event during their visit to the Aquarium, which is open Tuesday through Saturday 11-4 year-round (closed on federal holidays). Admission is free; donations are accepted.

Blackman's Stream Children's Days, May 23-26, Bradley ME

Staff from the Maine Field Station in Orono will be on the banks of Blackman’s Stream, a recent restoration site where a nature-like fishway was constructed to help alewives pass up stream to access the ponds where they breed. The importance of reconnecting habitat for sea-run fish such as Atlantic salmon and alewives will be a focus, and staff will teach children about the spring run of alewives that are abundant in the stream. The event is open to the public and is being held at the Maine Forest & Logging Museum; admission is free.

Last updated by Northeast Fisheries Science Center on May 30, 2018