On May 12, 2015, the National Aquarium unveiled to guests its educational and highly interactive exhibit, Living Seashore. This week, the exhibit celebrates its first anniversary. Since opening last spring, the gallery, which features two touchpools and a variety of hands-on exploratory experiences, has welcomed more than 1 million guests.
“Three hundred and sixty-five days later, and I still enjoy watching guests marvel at the jellies in our jelly touchpool. I don’t think it will ever get old,” said Heather Doggett, National Aquarium Director of Guest Engagement. “Living Seashore is a special experience, providing visitors the opportunity to interact with some of the beach’s hidden treasures, as well as educating them on how to keep our shores safe for the animals that live there.”
The two touchpools contain 5,331 gallons of salt water and are teeming with aquatic life, including Atlantic stingrays, horseshoe crabs, moon jellies and more. In addition to the touchpools, the exhibit features a digital multi-touch table where guests can discover objects that wash up on the beach, find out what animals live along the seashore and visit a replicated sandy dune featuring some of the beach’s hidden treasures. National Aquarium experts and educational interpreters stationed throughout the exhibit provide guests the opportunity to learn more about conservation behavior through one-on-one engagement.
“One of our many goals for Living Seashore is to have the experience be fun, engaging and memorable for guests,” said Doggett. “Collected data from the past year tell us that guests not only genuinely enjoy the exhibit, but have also learned conservation etiquette, which is just as important to us.”
Last year’s grand opening welcomed Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Congressman John Sarbanes and close to 1,000 guests. Since then, more than 1 million guests have experienced the exhibit, which spans 2,700 square feet and is home to approximately 150 animals.