NORWALK, Conn. – The Maritime Aquarium’s new president and CEO Brian Davis gave U.S. Rep. Jim Himes a tour of the Norwalk facility Wednesday, sharing some new and popular exhibits and checking out a shark dissection class.
Davis joined the Maritime Aquarium in late December after several years at the Georgia Aquarium.
“I’m loving it. We’re starting to think about the direction we want to take moving forward. And the community has been fantastic. They are so supportive of this facility,” Davis said. Himes is also a big supporter of the aquarium. “To me, it’s so gratifying that he took the time and energy to come down here and welcome me and let me share what’s going on at this great facility.”
“Brian’s relatively new at the helm so this was a good opportunity to meet him and get a sense of his vision for this essential regional asset,” Himes said. He said that he used to come frequently with his children when they were younger, and that the river otters are a particular favorite of his. He said that the aquarium is an important part of the Norwalk community.
Davis said the aquarium will make announcements about some of its plans moving forward at a future date, but said, “Innovation will be a big part of it. We’re looking to integrate different technologies to help guests better experience the aquarium.”
The first stop on their tour was a class offered to high school students called “Shark Anatomy and Evolution.” The two-hour class was attended by students from South Kent School, who dissected small sharks and learned about shark adaptations. The students also learned about the relationship between bony and cartilaginous fish, and why shark species are now threatened. Aquarium publicist Dave Sigworth said the program was one of several new standards-based programs now available to high school students, and that more will be available in the spring on the aquarium’s new research vessel, Spirit of the Sound .
Himes and Davis also visited several exhibits, including the newly installed “Dragons: Real or Myth?” The exhibit opened last weekend and includes a variety of land and sea creatures with “dragon” in their name. Among the creatures is one of only 31 black dragons in the United States.
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