Do you ever stand on the beach and gaze out over the water thinking, what is under there? Anyone?
Well if you find yourself at Easton’s Beach in Newport, RI you can wonder no more! Save the Bay, an excellent local environmental nonprofit operates an Exploration Center just steps from the rolling waves. Save the Bay’s mission is to protect and improve Narragansett Bay and the Exploration Center is an interactive marine science center designed to educate visitors about the creatures that make their home in nearby marine habitats.
The Exploration Center is home to over 140 species of marine animals that live in Narragansett Bay. The aquarium is on the cozy side, but a wonderful diversity of local marine species is represented including fish, sharks (dogfish), crustaceans, and marine plants. The centerpiece of the Exploration Center is a beautiful touch tank that was donated by the New England Aquarium.
In 2006 waves from Hurricane Sandy flooded the building. Luckily all of the animals survived, but the aquarium’s filtration and electrical systems suffered catastrophic damage and it took the Center nine months to rebuild with a lot of help and resources from volunteers. In fact, the aquarium is staffed and constructed mostly by volunteers and stocked by local fishermen. It truly is a labor of love, making it a unique expression of the community’s appreciation for Save the Bay’s efforts to preserve our local marine resources and teach us about them.
So the next time you’re visiting Easton’s Beach in Newport, I urge you to step into the Exploration Center and get a whole new perspective on the marine life that is right around you.