Maritime Aquarium Celebrates World Oceans Day with Four-Day Lineup of Events

Held annually on June 8, World Oceans Day encourages people around the planet to celebrate and honor the ocean, which connects us all. This year, The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk has prepared an ambitious lineup for an entire weekend full of events and experiences that everyone can do while social distancing! The experiences begin Friday, June 5 and culminate on Monday, June 8 – officially recognized globally as “World Oceans Day.”   The lineup covers a wide range of experiences for all ages including indoor, outdoor, time-scheduled and “anytime streaming.”

“Especially during this current pandemic, digital technology provides us access and connectivity to many of the educational and entertaining activities otherwise not available when we are closed,” said aquarium President and CEO Jason Patlis. “The ocean, however, is what truly connects us all. We are delighted to showcase how the ocean is a vital part of our lives during our ‘World Oceans Weekend’ celebration.”

The schedule of events kicks off Friday, June 5 at 6 p.m. with the aquarium’s first-ever virtual gala. Instead of its traditional in-person event, the aquarium will host “Changing Tides: A Virtual Gala for World Oceans Day and a New World.”   Joining us as our special guest is Fabien Cousteau—aquanaut, oceanographic explorer, environmental advocate, Founder of the Fabien Cousteau Ocean Learning Center and the first grandson of Jacques-Yves Cousteau— and be treated to musical performances and other presentations. The virtual gala has limited space and requires advanced registration at: maritimeaquarium.org/virtualgala.

Later that evening, the aquarium will provide a special bedtime story experience for families. On Friday, June 5 at 7:30 p.m. the aquarium will share a video of actress Melissa Joan Hart reading the children’s book “Man Fish” on its Facebook page. Long-time fan, member, and trustee of the aquarium, Hart will bring the book to life in an engaging way that will delight the young and young-at-heart. The video will premiere at 7:30 p.m. but will remain available on the social platform for repeat viewing!

On Saturday, June 6 at 6 p.m., The Maritime Aquarium will broadcast a live interview with Jason Patlis and Greg MacGillivray, the Oscar-nominated director and pioneer of IMAX films for the past forty years. With footage from the giant screen classic movie “Humpback Whales” and other films that have been featured at The Maritime Aquarium’s IMAX theater, they will discuss the world of documentary wildlife filmmaking and the underwater world of humpbacks.  MacGillivray will answer pre-submitted questions and will highlight short film clips and video vignettes during the interview. The interview will take place at 6 p.m. via YouTube Live.

The ocean is a source of calm for many people– so on Sunday, June 7 at 3 p.m., the aquarium will share a special live guided “Ocean Meditation” experience via Facebook. Led by local energy healer Jimmy Gonzalez, the meditation will give participants a chance to unwind while watching footage of the wonders of the ocean.

The weekend-long celebration culminates on Monday, June 8 at 5 p.m. with a virtual symphony in partnership with the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra.   “Sound and Sea: When the Orchestra Meets the Ocean” is a special performance by Symphony musicians of Aquarium by Camille Saint-Saens, accompanied by sharks, sea turtles and more of The Maritime Aquarium's most captivating animals. With an introduction by Melissa Joan Hart, the program will also include discussion on the history of aquariums and explore how all aspects of human society - including music - are connected to the oceans. The event requires advanced registration via maritimeaquarium.org/world-oceans-weekend.

Beyond the lineup of scheduled events, the aquarium is packaging offerings for people to celebrate World Oceans remotely and at their own pace. Details for all are at maritimeaquarium.org/world-oceans-weekend.

At-Home Experiences for World Oceans Weekend

A special early premiere of One Ocean Film Tour – available Friday, June 5 - 8 

Submerse yourself in the beauty, adventure and stories of One Ocean- America's Ocean Film Tour. Enjoy a hand-curated compilation of the most spectacular conservation, sport, adventure and unique stories of the seven seas presented in 100 minutes of gripping, non-stop tales. The films are available for 48 hours of viewing starting on June 5 at 5 p.m. EST. You may purchase the program up until June 11 at 5 p.m. EST. 


Beach cleanup guides - World Oceans Weekend is the perfect time to make a special effort to help clean our waters. Ocean debris has become a global problem for both humans and marine life, therefore, the Maritime Aquarium is encouraging everyone to spend some time outside and pitch in help keep our waterways free of debris. The aquarium has prepared guides to help people as they visit to a local beach to clean up any trash that might eventually end up in the ocean. And it doesn’t have to be a beach – lakes, rivers and streams are great locations for clean ups also! This is a fun family activity and can also be done easily with the community while social distancing.

Ocean-inspired scavenger hunts – The Maritime Aquarium has created scavenger hunts that help young people learn about the diversity of the ocean and its impact. There are two versions available – “At the Beach” and “At Home” - demonstrating how the ocean affects all areas of our lives.   Both versions are available for download on the aquarium’s website.


Ocean-inspired book, movie and music recommendations – For those who want to use the weekend to relax with a book or a movie, the Maritime Aquarium is offering curated lists for reading and viewing that are ocean-centric.   There are recommendations for reading and viewing for children and adult on the aquarium’s website. Also available are some music recommendations sure to provide an ocean-inspired soundtrack for the weekend.

World Ocean membership discount – The Maritime Aquarium is offering special promotional pricing on annual memberships in honor of World Oceans Weekend. People can purchase the aquarium’s popular “Family Plus Membership” for $50 off during the four-day celebration (June 5-8, 2020).

Get all the details about what The Maritime Aquarium has available during “World Oceans Weekend” at: www.maritimeaquarium.org/world-oceans-weekend


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