Norwalk’s Maritime Aquarium is a big draw to the southwest corner of the state, attracting nearly half a million visitors last year, and it’s about to get some extra attention.
The aquarium turned 25 years old today.
“Twenty-five years ago, our founders hoped that a new aquarium might drive revitalization of the South Norwalk neighborhood and teach visitors about the natural history of Long Island Sound,” Jennifer Herring, president of The Maritime Aquarium, said. “But I don’t believe that even they imagined what we have been able to achieve as a regional marine-education resource and as a hub for the development that has occurred around us.”
According to a recent economic-impact study, The Maritime Aquarium generates $25 million for the city and $42 million for the state each year, all while operating on the aquarium's $10 million budget.
The aquarium’s primary goal is to educate the public about Long Island Sound and they consistently find new ways to do that.
They have the largest IMAX movie theater in the state and will have a new research vessel next year.
“As wonderful as those new technologies are - and as much as we anticipate the unknown technologies that will become available to us in the next 25 years - the greatest tool, the most important connection, always will be the simple act of a child touching a horseshoe crab, of the smile forced out by the playfulness of an otter, or of the thrill of looking into the toothy mouth of a shark for the first time," Herring said. "That's what inspires our visitors,” Herring said in a statement.
The birthday party kicked off at 3 p.m. on Tuesday.