Aquarium exhibits to undergo upgrades
New England Aquarium visitors will soon get the opportunity to learn a whole lot more about the crustaceans, sea turtles and other aquatic species that reside there.
A recipient of $2.4 million in federal community project funding, the aquarium will be using that money to upgrade its 45 exhibits, President and CEO Vikki Spruill said during a Tuesday news conference.
“These funds enable us to completely modernize our wayfinding and our displays so that they will be more interactive, more accessible, more age appropriate culturally contextualized for our diverse visiting audience,” Spruill said.
Each of the 45 exhibits will receive new signage that will identify the species as well as provide information about their habitats, marine mammal distribution, sea turtle rescue and more, Spruill said. She described the project alongside Congressman Stephen Lynch and state Rep. Aaron Michlewitz, chairman of Ways and Means.
The aquarium will be implementing a new QR code system that will allow visitors to decide what they want to learn about from each exhibit.
Community project funding is designed to go to places that need it “the most,” Lynch said. He touted how he relied on feedback from Michlewitz, Mayor Michelle Wu and other state and local officials on how the money should be spent.
“The educational component of what the New England Aquarium provides is so invaluable, and this money is going to take that to a more modernized, next level step,” Michlewitz said. “It’s not just about the animals in there. It’s about the climate resiliency conversations, it’s about the preservation conversations.”
The Bay State congressional delegation secured more than $42 million in total funding from this fiscal year’s $1.7 trillion omnibus spending package for 34 community-based projects in Boston and across the region.
Hull received the biggest award, with $4.9 million going toward construction of a 1,600-foot seawall to better protect the coastline and improve area roadways. UMass Boston secured $3 million to create a “state-of-the-art” home care digital and simulation lab.
Regarding the aquarium project, Lynch said, “I’m sure everyone near and far who enjoys the aquarium agrees with me when I say that we all look forward to seeing the final results of these exciting modernizations and updates.”