Press Questions, Photo Requests & Filming Inquiries

To arrange a press visit, receive Aquarium information and for all other press inquiries, contact:
Dave Sigworth, Publicist, at (203) 852-0700, ext. 2232, or

High-resolution photos of The Maritime Aquarium's animals and exhibits are available for download 24/7 at  No user name or password is needed. Unless noted otherwise, please credit The Maritime Aquarium.

The Maritime Aquarium is available as a location for commercial filming. Click here for details.



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                         CONTACT: Dave Sigworth
Nov. 30, 2017                                                                                              (203) 852-0700, ext. 2232 

NORWALK, CT – December brings annual visitors from the north into Long Island Sound, and you can chance to see them during “Seal-Spotting & Birding Cruises” offered this winter by The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk.

The Aquarium’s 2017-18 season of “Seal-Spotting & Birding Cruises” begins Dec. 9 and 10, and will run on many weekends through March 31, 2018.

These invigorating 2½-hour outings seek out some of the harbor seals and gray seals that migrate down into Long Island Sound from northern waters – such as off Cape Cod and the Gulf of Maine – which serve as their summer breeding and pupping areas. During the Aquarium cruises, seals often can be seen near the Norwalk islands resting on rocks and shoals exposed at low tide. Aquarium educators will point out these federally protected marine mammals and talk about their natural histories.

These cruises also give birders unique “on-the-water” access to see and photograph visiting winter waterfowl, such as buffleheads, mergansers, Brant geese and long-tailed ducks.

“Although we’ve been displaying seals for nearly 30 years now – and explaining to guests that seals are out there in the Sound during the winter – it’s still a revelation for participants to actually see them during our cruises,” said Dave Sigworth, the Aquarium’s associate director of communications. “It is these exciting first-hand experiences that really emphasize that Long Island Sound is an important habitat to protect.”

Dates and departure times of the cruises vary by low tide. Initial cruises on Sat., Dec. 9 and Sun., Dec. 10 both depart at 10 a.m. Most cruises occur on weekends, although outings also are planned during the Christmas-break week Dec. 27-29. For the full schedule, go to

Read more ...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                         CONTACT: Dave Sigworth
Nov. 20, 2017                                                                                              (203) 852-0700, ext. 2232 

NORWALK, CT – See Santa Claus on land, sea and the giant screen in December as part of the holiday-season fun at The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk.

Santa will be posing with kids in a holiday exhibit, scuba diving with the sharks and appearing on the six-story IMAX® Theater screen in “The Polar Express,” all part of the Connecticut family attraction’s bonus Christmas offerings.

A visit to the Aquarium is always a gift to yourself, your family and your friends, thanks to the sharks, seals, river otters, jellyfish, sea turtles and other marine animals, as well as the amazing IMAX movies playing on the six-story screen (Connecticut’s largest).

But this holiday season offers special bonus presents for kids and families to enjoy:

“Shark-Diving Santa”
At 12:15 & 2:15 p.m. Nov. 25-26 and most Thursdays, Saturdays & Sundays in December. (No dives Dec. 24 & 25.) Also daily Dec. 26-31.
    Santa Claus will join The Maritime Aquarium’s dive team in December to help demonstrate that sharks aren’t the blood-thirsty killers of myth.
Several times each week through the holiday season (workload permitting), Santa will strap on his custom scuba outfit and enter the Aquarium’s 110,000-gallon “Ocean Beyond the Sound” exhibit, which is home to 7-foot sharks.  
    He’ll swim up to the exhibit window and pose with children, so bring your camera for a unique photo opp.
Santa is expected to participate in each dive beginning Nov. 25-26, and then in December on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Times are 12:15 & 2:15 p.m.  Check the Aquarium’s website – (under “Upcoming Events”) – to confirm the dates when Santa can pull himself away from the North Pole and exchange his snow boots for swim fins.
     “Shark-Diving Santa” is part of a regular Aquarium program where guests can see and talk with volunteer divers swimming in the exhibit. The purpose of the dives is to correct common misperceptions about sharks, as the divers demonstrate how sharks do not see humans as prey.
     All the dives are free with Aquarium admission.

Santa in the Fishing Village
Dec. 2-3, 9-10 and 16-17, each day from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
     Visit Santa Claus aboard a festive fishing boat on three special weekends in December as The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk adds a bonus holiday exhibit to “fish” you a Merry Christmas!
     Santa Claus will be in the holiday exhibit Dec. 2-3, 9-10 and 16-17, each day from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Look for him in what is normally the Aquarium’s “Go Fish” exhibit, which will be transformed into a holiday wonderland in December. Santa will accept children’s wish lists and pose for photos for free, so bring your camera to snap a keepsake memory.
     Please note that, each of those weekend days at 12:15 p.m., Santa will take breaks from the Fishing Village to become “Shark-Diving Santa,” joining the Aquarium scuba team to swim among the sharks in the “Ocean Beyond the Sound” exhibit.

IMAX movie “The Polar Express”
At 5 p.m. Nov. 24-26 and Dec. 2-3.  And at 9 a.m. & 5 p.m. Dec. 9-10.
     Santa Claus awaits at the end of a wild giant-screen ride to the North Pole beginning Nov. 24 when the holiday film “The Polar Express” returns for a limited engagement to The Maritime Aquarium’s IMAX Theater.
    The animated Hollywood film, featuring Tom Hanks as the voice of five characters, returns to the Aquarium’s six-story screen Nov. 24-26 and Dec. 2-3, with all show times at 5 p.m. On Sat. Dec. 9 and Sun., Dec. 10, “The Polar Express” will play at 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
     “The screen size, picture clarity and surround-sound audio makes IMAX the most immersive film format,” said Aquarium spokesman Dave Sigworth. “And so IMAX is the perfect way to experience a movie like ‘The Polar Express’ that’s all about believing.”
     Based on the 1986 Caldecott Award-winning book by Chris Van Allsburg, “The Polar Express” follows a young boy who doubts the existence of Santa Claus but gets taken on a magical Christmas Eve trip to the North Pole.
     Because “The Polar Express” is an hour and 40 minutes long, tickets are specially priced at: $11.50 for adults; $10.50 for youths (ages 13-17) & seniors (65+); and $9.50 for children 3-12.  Maritime Aquarium members save $1.
    Special weekday shows at 9 or 10 a.m. are available for preschools and elementary schools. Call (203) 852-0700, ext. 2206, for details.

“Flurry Zone! An Indoor Snow Experience”
Every hour on the hour, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Dec. 1-31
     No matter the weather outside, The Maritime Aquarium is guaranteeing a snowy forecast inside the popular family attraction, thanks to a special snow machine that will produce an hourly flurry each day in December.
     Every hour, on the hour, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., snow will fall from the ceiling of Newman’s Own Hall (where the seals are). The squall will last for 5 minutes but, through unique technology, evaporate before hitting the floor, so no shoveling will be required.
     “Here’s the chance to enjoy a pretty snowfall to help get you into the holiday spirit, but a snowfall that will be inside, where it’s warm!” said Dave Sigworth, the Aquarium’s spokesman.
     “Flurry Zone! An Indoor Snow Experience” will be free with Aquarium admission.

Read more ...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                         CONTACT: Dave Sigworth
Nov. 7, 2017                                                                                               (203) 852-0700, ext. 2232 

NORWALK, CT – Help to decide the name of a baby sea turtle – and support ocean conservation at the same time – by voting in the “Name the Baby Sea Turtle” contest of The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk.

The Aquarium has narrowed the list of possible names for its new baby loggerhead sea turtle to a choice of five. The winning name is now up for vote.

Should it be:  
    • Eco? (as in ecology; pronounced ee-ko, not echo)
    • Nibbler?
    • Sounder? (a nod to Long Island Sound)
    • Squirt?
    • or Shell Turtlestein?

Vote by going to now through Dec. 17. Each vote will cost $1, with proceeds going to The Maritime Aquarium’s conservation efforts. The winning name will be announced during a Maritime Aquarium Facebook Live update on Dec. 20.

The turtle arrived in Norwalk Oct. 21 as a 3-inch-long stranded hatchling rescued by staff of The North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores. It will live in The Maritime Aquarium’s new “Sea Turtle Nursery” exhibit for a year, growing to “dinner-plate-size,” before being released into the Atlantic back in North Carolina next October.

It’s not known if the Aquarium’s turtle is male or female – and won’t be known before it is released – because gender doesn’t become identifiable in sea turtles until they are in their teens.

Read more ...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                         CONTACT: Dave Sigworth
Oct. 20, 2017                                                                                               (203) 852-0700, ext. 2232 

NORWALK, CT – Follow a rescued baby loggerhead sea turtle through its first year of life as The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk raises it in a new “Sea Turtle Nursery” exhibit for release into the Atlantic Ocean next fall.

The guest sea turtle will live at The Maritime Aquarium as part of a loan program of the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores, whose staff and volunteers inspect turtle nests on beaches to look for “stragglers” – newly hatched turtles that, for various reasons, didn’t make it out of nests. These young turtles are rescued and then raised for a year at loan institutions, such as The Maritime Aquarium, before being returned to North Carolina the following fall for release into the Gulf Stream.

Tom Frankie, director of Exhibits for The Maritime Aquarium, said Aquarium staff will repeat the process each October: travel to North Carolina to release a year-old loggerhead and then bring a new hatchling back to Norwalk.

The hatchling turtle – only about 3 inches long at first – will live in a new habitat near the Aquarium’s exhibit that features two large green sea turtles.

Read more ...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                         CONTACT: Dave Sigworth
Oct. 9, 2017                                                                                                (203) 852-0700, ext. 2232 

NORWALK, CT – Tickets are on sale now to experience “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” in Connecticut’s largest IMAX® Theater when the latest episode in the saga premieres Dec. 15 at The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk.

The Maritime Aquarium is only one of 10 theaters in the U.S. that will show “The Last Jedi” in 70mm IMAX film projection. (The next closest is in Philadelphia.) Thus, “Star Wars” fans won’t see “The Last Jedi” bigger or better anywhere in New England – or in the New York metropolitan area – than at The Maritime Aquarium with its six-story screen.

The Maritime Aquarium’s theater combines the brightest, clearest images at almost 10 times the resolution of standard-projection formats with powerful, laser-aligned digital sound and customized theater geometry to create the world's most immersive film experience. Director Rian Johnson shot portions of “The Last Jedi” with IMAX cameras, and those scenes will fill the Aquarium’s giant screen (in ways unavailable in conventional cinemas).

In an unprecedented move, The Maritime Aquarium is suspending its regular schedule of 40-minute IMAX documentaries from Dec. 15-Jan. 15 to present only “The Last Jedi.” Show times are 1, 4, 7 & 10 p.m.  (There’s only one show on Dec. 24 – at noon – and no shows Christmas Day.)

Tickets are $15 for adults, seniors and youths (13-17), and $12.50 for children (3-12). Get them online at Aquarium admission tickets are separate.

Episode VIII in the “Star Wars” series and sequel to “The Force Awakens,” “The Last Jedi” stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and Oscar Isaac. New cast members include Benicio del Toro and Laura Dern. Fisher died in December 2016, making “The Last Jedi” her final film role.

“The Last Jedi” is expected to have a rating of PG-13. It’s produced by Lucasfilm and will be distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

# # #

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                         CONTACT: Dave Sigworth
Oct. 6, 2017                                                                                               (203) 852-0700, ext. 2232 

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – American Maritime Safety Inc. has announced that The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk is among the recipients of its 2017 AMS Safety Awards.

AMS is a nonprofit maritime trade association that facilitates the maritime industry's compliance with international shipping protocols and U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) regulations. The AMS consortium is comprised of more than 400 vessel owners and operators. It is the leading maritime industry association specializing in regulatory compliance in the United States.

Every year, the AMS Safety Advisory Committee presents member companies with safety awards in recognition of their dedication to preserving the marine environment and promoting safe vessel navigation, operations and maritime work practices. These safety awards are designed to recognize vessel operators for their proactive efforts toward achieving safe and responsible vessel practices.

The Maritime Aquarium will receive AMS’s 2017 Passenger Vessel Safety Award, which recognizes the implementation of best-practice systems and programs that contribute to the overall safety of passengers and crewmembers. The award applies to The Maritime Aquarium’s R/V Spirit of the Sound™, a 64-foot catamaran that is the country’s first hybrid-electric research vessel. Aquarium crew and educators take thousands of recreational guests and school groups out onto Long Island Sound April through October for 2.5-hour hands-on encounters with marine life, as well as for seasonal lighthouse cruises and winter seal-watching cruises.

“We honor the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk for its commitment to safety, environmental protection and responsible seafarers conduct,” the AMS said in a statement.

Learn more about the Aquarium’s cruises, exhibits, IMAX® movies and more at

Other AMS Safety Awards winners this year are Maersk Line Ltd., Matson Navigation Co. and OSG Ship Management Inc.

Read more ...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                         CONTACT: Dave Sigworth
Oct. 3, 2017                                                                                               (203) 852-0700, ext. 2232 

NORWALK, CT – Dr. Brian Davis, president and CEO of The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, has joined the Board of Directors of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, the prestigious national organization that sets the top standards for animal care and visitor safety at America’s zoos and aquariums.

Davis began a three-year term on Oct. 1 to serve as one of the AZA board’s 13 members, following his election at the AZA’s annual conference last month in Indianapolis. He will be involved in every aspect of the national organization, which oversees the highest accreditation standards for more than 230 zoos and aquariums in the U.S. AZA and its member institutions serve as professional leaders in animal care, ethics, conservation and education.

“I’m honored to be chosen by my peers for this important role within our industry’s leading organization,” Davis said. “AZA institutions continue to find better, smarter, purposeful ways to connect people and animals, and I am very excited to have a role in guiding those developments.”

Davis joined The Maritime Aquarium in December 2014, coming to Norwalk from the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, where he was vice president of education and training. Davis was the eighth member to join the Georgia Aquarium team – in 2003, two years prior to its opening – and was integral in the Aquarium’s design and development of the guest experience at what was then the world’s largest aquarium. He later developed educational programs for guests, including students at all academic levels.

Prior to the Georgia Aquarium, Dr. Davis was an educator at the New York Aquarium, program and education marketing coordinator at Zoo Atlanta, and a science teacher and administrator in the Georgia school system.

Read more ...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                         CONTACT: Dave Sigworth
June 28, 2017                                                                                              (203) 852-0700, ext. 2232 

NORWALK, CT – Get close to some of the most strangely beautiful – but painfully dangerous – animals in the sea as The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk offers a newly expanded exhibit of jellyfish.

With “Journey with Jellies,” The Maritime Aquarium now displays the most jellyfish species in the region.

Jellies – as they should be called, because they’re not fish – have been among the most popular animals in The Maritime Aquarium for more than 20 years. This bigger new space builds around the tall centerpiece display of moon jellies, and offers large new displays with such non-native species as Pacific sea nettles, flower hat jellies, Japanese sea nettles and more.

“Journey with Jellies” has traditional “window” displays of jellies, but also unique displays of jellies living in cascading globe and half-dome habitats.

Read more ...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                         CONTACT: Dave Sigworth
June 13, 2017                                                                                               (203) 852-0700, ext. 2232 

NORWALK, CT – Plunge deep into the Brazilian rain forest for a giant-screen journey of discovery among glittering butterflies, surprising insects and a prowling jaguar in the new IMAX movie "Amazon Adventure," opening July 1 at The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk.

The compelling story of 19th-century scientific breakthrough will play at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. daily through Labor Day in Connecticut's largest IMAX Theater, with a screen that's six stories high.

"Amazon Adventure" recounts the extraordinary work of naturalist Henry Bates, who the filmmakers call "the most influential scientist you've never heard of." Beginning in 1848, Bates risked his life for science during an 11-year expedition into the Amazon rain forest, and his findings provided the "beautiful proof" for Charles Darwin's then-controversial theory of natural selection, the scientific explanation for the development of life on Earth.

Filmed in the lush Amazon region, with scenes of sloths, brilliantly colored birds and amazingly camouflaged insects and lizards, "Amazon Adventure" lets audiences join Bates as he searches for clues about how and why species – particularly butterflies – change and adapt over time.

"I saw strange creatures that hide in plain sight by looking like something completely different," Bates (played by Calum Finlay) says in the film. "A 'leaf' that flies. 'Bird droppings' that walk ... A 'flower bud,' whose nectar attracts a bee, is really a spider. So with your disguise, you get eaten less and get to eat more, a double advantage."

Bates discovered more than 8,000 species new to science. His collections demonstrated that species to adapt, thus supporting Darwin's theory and disproving the then-common belief that "species were divinely created in their current form, that they never changed, and never would."

Painstakingly researched for three years, “Amazon Adventure” enlisted the expertise of more than 100 scientists and historical advisors. The team’s commitment to authenticity not only resulted in this rigorous re-creation, even using actual instruments and tools from the 1850s, but the writing team also incorporated many of Bates’ own words, as he was a gifted storyteller.

Read more ...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                         CONTACT: Dave Sigworth
June 14, 2017                                                                                               (203) 852-0700, ext. 2232 

NORWALK, CT – The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk is celebrating another national kudo as Reader’s Digest has named the popular attraction the “Best Family Travel Destination” in Connecticut.

The Maritime Aquarium is Connecticut’s entry in “The 50 Best Family Travel Destinations in Each State,” recently published on Reader’s Digest’s website. Under a photo of the sharks in the Aquarium’s “Ocean Beyond the Sound” exhibit, Reader’s Digest says:

There's something about peering through the glass into an underwater world that completely captures children's imaginations. At The Maritime Aquarium, kids can get up close and personal with marine animals at the Touch Tank, see hundreds of beautiful jellyfish at the Jellies exhibit, and learn about the unique ecology of the Long Island Sound. Be sure to hang around to watch feeding time for the noisy seals!

Others destinations on the list include Horseshoe Bend of the Grand Canyon (Arizona), Disneyland (California), Boston Public Garden (Massachusetts), the St. Louis Zoo (Missouri), Glacier National Park (Montana), the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (Ohio) and Colonial Williamsburg (Virginia).

See the article at

Read more ...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                         CONTACT: Dave Sigworth
Jan. 27, 2017                                                                                               (203) 852-0700, ext. 2232 

NORWALK, CT  –  Soar over the world’s tallest buildings, race in a solar-powered car and scale epic bridges – while also celebrating the inspired work behind them all – in “Dream Big: Engineering Our World,” the new IMAX movie opening Feb. 17 at The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk.Aquar.IMAX.DreamBig.GoldenGate copy 2

This spectacular film will show at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. daily in Connecticut’s largest IMAX Theater, featuring a screen that’s six stories tall. It’s narrated by Academy Award®-winner Jeff Bridges, and sponsored locally by Bankwell.

Produced in partnership with the American Society of Civil Engineers, “Dream Big” is the first giant-screen movie created with a STEM focus. (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.) For educators bringing their students to “Dream Big,” more than 50 hands-on engineering activities, lesson plans and videos are available online, all with a connection to a story or theme in the film.

“We know that educators are looking for new and effective ways to teach STEM, as required by state and federal standards,” said Tom Naiman, the Aquarium’s director of education. “‘Dream Big’ supports that effort in a very exciting way.”

Naiman added that “Dream Big” is not just for school groups.

Read more ...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                        CONTACT: Dave Sigworth
Sept. 22, 2016                                                                                             (203) 852-0700, ext. 2232 

Aquar.preschool ribbon cutting.4webNORWALK, CT – Nearly 200 Norwalk youngsters have a unique new community preschool that offers early-childhood STEM curricula and family enrichment by utilizing the resources of The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk and Grace Baptist Church.

Maritime Odyssey Preschool officially opened this morning with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in the Nathaniel Ely School in South Norwalk. The school is a partnership between: Odyssey Early Learning, which is the lead educational provider; The Maritime Aquarium, which provides science-education content expertise; and Grace Baptist Church, which will host workshops for families on such topics as parent education and financial literacy.

Read more ...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                        CONTACT: Dave Sigworth
Sept. 21, 2016                                                                                             (203) 852-0700, ext. 2232   

NORWALK, CT – Nearly 2,000 students from 10 Fairfield County towns will explore how severe storms, erosion and other environmental hazards threaten their communities – and also how they can participate in lessening the effects – thanks to a three-year, $484,955 federal grant to The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk.

The grant, from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the U.S. Department of Commerce, is the largest federal award received in The Maritime Aquarium’s 28 years. It will fund an initiative called “Sound Resilience – Get On Board!” Over the next three years, The Maritime Aquarium will use the grant to involve as many as 1,875 middle- and high-school students in Greenwich, Stamford, New Canaan, Darien, Norwalk, Westport, Wilton, Weston, Fairfield and Bridgeport. Education and research will occur in school classrooms and also aboard the Aquarium’s hybrid-electric research vessel, R/V Spirit of the Sound™.

In addition, professional-development workshops will benefit more than 150 teachers from those towns.