Norwalk, CT – The Maritime Aquarium is calling on the community to celebrate and protect the ocean. From June 5 through June 11, guests of all ages can participate in a variety of World Ocean Week activities that raise awareness of the impact of human activities on the ocean, and highlight the importance of sustainability.
The Aquarium’s World Ocean Week is its own expanded celebration of World Ocean Day, a United Nations recognized day held annually on June 8 to encourage people to take actions that positively impact the ocean.
“The ocean comprises 71 percent of the world’s surface, produces 50 percent of the oxygen we breathe, and makes up 95 percent of the earth’s biosphere – it deserves more than one day a year to raise awareness that the life on the planet is dependent on the ocean, and that life in the ocean is dependent on us,” said President and CEO Jason Patlis.
Starting June 5, visitors can take the 30x30 pledge at the aquarium and online in support of the global commitment to protect 30 percent of the earth’s land and ocean. They can also view three coral reef sculptures made entirely from upcycled materials by Middletown-based artist Rachel DeCavage, who is also the owner and creative director of cinder + salt.
A special after-hours beer tasting – Sippin’ for the Mission – for adults 21 and over will be held on June 7 at 6:30 p.m. in partnership with Two Roads Brewery. In addition to Aquarium admission and the tasting, this event will feature up-close animal encounters. Members can purchase tickets for this events for $65. Non-members can purchase tickets for $70.
On June 8 between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., guests can help hand-sew a life-sized portrait of a humpback whale made of plastic to canvas with Hartford-based artist and National Geographic Explorer Kat Owens. The piece is part of Owens’ “Entangled and Ingested” project, which highlights creatures harmed by plastic pollution.
The celebration will culminate with a weekend family-friendly journey through the Aquarium with chances to win awesome prizes. Families will pick up their Aquarium passports upon entry and will then work to collect stamps at five ocean stations located throughout the Aquarium, where educators will be on-hand to facilitate interactions with the ambassador animals and animal artifacts.
The Maritime Aquarium Senior Manager of Events and Community Engagement Karina Tarnawsky said: “Our mission is to inspire people of all ages to appreciate and protect Long Island Sound and the ocean beyond. We are thrilled to expand ways for people to connect to that mission through art installations with community partners and events that allow people to meet our amazing animals, especially as we prepare to reaffirm our commitment to protecting the ocean on World Ocean Day.”
National Geographic Explorer Kat Owens said: “The Entangled and Ingested project helps people see the plastic they encounter in their everyday lives and the animals harmed by it.”
Owner and Creative Director of cinder + salt Rachel DeCavage said: “I'm honored that my coral reef sculptures will be a part of the World Ocean Week celebrations at The Maritime Aquarium and hope they continue to serve as an engaging tool for education on ocean conservation.”
To learn more about World Ocean Week events, visit www.maritimeaquarium.org/world-ocean-week.