NORWALK, Conn. -- The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk is opening up a new season of Marine Life Study Cruises beginning May 10.
The study cruises, which offer introductions to fish, crabs, skates, squid and other animals brought aboard the aquarium’s research vessel, will depart at 1 p.m. Saturdays through June 28. The cruises will push off at 1 p.m. daily in July and August.
"Get a deeper new appreciation for Long Island Sound when you meet some of its resident creatures, brought up wriggling and wet right before your eyes, aboard a Marine Life Study Cruise offered by The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk," a press release said.
During each two-and-a-half hour Marine Life Study Cruise, animals are brought up from different water levels and bottom habitats of the Sound.
“Any boat ride is fun,” said Cathy Hagadorn, the aquarium’s research vessel manager. “But our study cruises offer the bonus of giving participants an amazing window into what’s below the waves.”
The cruises include a video microscope, a biodredge and trawl nets.
“The best way to inspire stewardship of Long Island Sound is for people to see firsthand the diversity of marine life that lives in the Sound,” Hagadorn said. “Our best exhibits within the Aquarium can’t top the immediacy and lasting impact of seeing dozens of animals come up out of the water right in front of your eyes.”
Maritime Aquarium educators involve participants in the processes, from sorting through samples to helping to pull in the trawl net and returning animals to the water.
"Besides being fun and eye-opening, Marine Life Study Cruises also contribute to local scientific research," a press release said. "Water-chemistry and weather readings are taken. And details about the animals brought onboard are entered into the Aquarium’s Long Island Sound Biodiversity Project, a database of physical and biological features available online to teachers and researchers."
Cost of a Marine Life Study Cruise is $22.95 per person and $17.95 for Maritime Aquarium members. All passengers must be at least 42 inches tall. Reservations are recommended. To reserve a spot on a Maritime Aquarium Marine Life Study Cruise or for more details, visit the Maritime Aquarium website or call 203-852-0700, ext. 2206.