Living Seashore Exhibit

Living Seashore

In spring 2015, guests will be able to enjoy Living Seashore, an interactive exhibit featuring two touchpools and a variety of hands-on exploratory experiences. Living Seashore will take guests beyond the boardwalk to the crashing waves, sandy beaches and shifting dunes of the ever-changing Mid-Atlantic seashore, where they will encounter a variety of marine life.

Along the edge of the touchpools, visitors will join National Aquarium interpreters to gently touch the prickly pointed spines of a purple sea urchin; graze their hand over the sleek, muscular wing of an Atlantic stingray; and feel the mysterious, firm bell of a pulsing moon jelly. As they explore the sandy shore, guests will have the opportunity to discover and learn about some of the beach’s hidden treasures, such as horseshoe crabs, sand dollars and egg cases on a tactile discovery wall that brings a "slice of the beach" to eye level. Guests will also have the opportunity to look for clues on a digital multi-touch table, learning about objects that wash up on the beach. The digital “Shore Hero Conservation Station” allows guests to further connect to the wonders of the water’s edge by pledging to protect our local aquatic treasures and similar habitats.

Living Seashore Quick Facts

  • Opening Date: 2015
  • Location: Level 3 of Blue Wonders (Pier 3 Pavilion)
  • Total Number of Animals: Approximately 150 animals
  • Total Number of Animal Species: Approximately 20 species
  • Number of Touchpools: Two (Living Seashore Touchpool and Jelly Touchpool)
  • Highlighted Touchpool Animals:
    • Clearnose skate (Raja eglanteria)
    • Atlantic stingray (Dasyatis sabina)
    • Horseshoe crab (Limulus polyphemus)
    • Purple spined sea urchin (Arbacia punctulata)
    • Knobbed whelk (Busycon carica)
    • Moon jelly (Aurelia aurita)

  • Habitat Design: Replicating the wondrous beaches and waters of the Mid-Atlantic seashore
  • Total Gallons of Water: 5,331 gallons of saltwater in the exhibit
  • Square Feet: 2,700 square feet of public exhibit
  • Key Experiences:
    • Animal touch encounters and one-on-one experiences with educational interpreters at two large touchpools
    • Explore mysterious objects washed up at the high tide line on interactive, digital multi-touch table
    • Tactile activities/interactive on the "slice of the beach" discovery wall promoting inquiry and discovery
    • Digital boardwalk-style binoculars showing videos of animals down the beach
    • Computer touchscreens to provide guests with more information on animals in the exhibit
    • “Shore Hero” stories and “Conservation Station” where guests can make a pledge to protect coastal habitats and animals

Animals in this Exhibit

  • Moon Jelly

    Moon jellies are translucent white with a saucer-shaped bell.

    Moon Jellyfish
  • Sea Stars

    There are nearly 2,000 species of sea stars in the world’s oceans.

    National Aquarium – Sea Stars
  • Spotfin Butterflyfish

    The black bar across this fish’s eye confuses predators.

    National Aquarium - Spotfin butterflyfish

Back to the Top

Featured Animals


Artist Renderings


Stay Connected

Receive more stories in your inbox. Sign up for Aquamail:

Follow us on social media:

Facebook Twitter  Instagram Pinterest Tumblr Google+