This new exhibit, which spans 2,700 square feet, takes guests beyond the boardwalk to the crashing waves, sandy beaches and shifting dunes of the ever-changing Mid-Atlantic seashore, where they will encounter more than 150 animals, including clearnose skates, horseshoe crabs and moon jellies.
Along the edge of two large touchpools containing 5,331 gallons of salt water, guests will be able to gently touch the prickly pointed spines of a purple sea urchin; the sleek, muscular wing of an Atlantic stingray; and the mysterious, firm bell of a pulsing moon jelly.
During encounters with these intriguing creatures, visitors will have the opportunity to engage one-on-one with National Aquarium experts and educational interpreters to learn more about responsible beach-going and conservation of these animals.
"Many of these animals live side-by-side with us on our beaches, and we don't even know it. This new exhibit will transport our guests to the beach, where they can really explore the mysteries living among us." —Jack Cover, General Curator
As guests explore the replicated sandy shore, they will learn about some of the beach's hidden treasures, such as hermit crabs, shell fragments, shorebird tracks and egg cases, on a tactile discovery wall that brings a "slice of the beach" to eye level. Guests will have the opportunity to look for clues on a digital multi-touch table where they can discover objects that wash up on the beach and find out what animals lives along the seashore.
Additional displays will highlight animals that live just below the ocean's surface in this Atlantic shoreline habitat, such as spider crabs, striped burrfish and northern stargazers.
Living Seashore will be located on Level 3 of Blue Wonders: Reefs to Rainforests, Pier 3 Pavilion. The exhibit will occupy space that was previously a backup area.
For more information on the new exhibit, visit aqua.org/livingseashore!