On the sunny morning of Sunday March 23rd, 4 volunteers from Boston ICO, Ben, Lucy, Andrew, me- Swas and Mike, from Zumix met up with 14 kids in East Boston. After introductions, brief overview of the day, and a little healthy snacking we gathered everyone and hopped on to the Blue line from Maverick station. After 1 stop, we reached the Aquarium and immediately got to observe the playful Atlantic Harbor Seals. Lucy led the opening circle out in the sun where everyone introduced themselves and their favorite sea animals. The Aquarium was extremely generous in their support for ICO by offering free admission for our entire trip.
We excitedly embarked on our journey where our first stop was the Shark and Ray Touch tank. The kids eagerly pulled up their sleeves and gently touched the rays. Our next stop was the Penguin Exhibit where we saw many species of penguins - some of which we recognized from the movie Happy Feet! We observed the penguins as they happily went about their business. Next, we saw the Northern Fur Seals and then made our way to the giant fish tank. The tank contained many exciting animals - Myrtle the 90 year old green sea turtle, moray eels and hundreds of colorful reef. We were also fortunate to see the divers cleaning the giant fish tank. They were kind enough to share their experience under water with us. Next we saw the leafy sea dragon (all the way from Coral Reef in Australia!) and the seahorses.
At 1:30 PM we headed outside to have lunch in the sun. Unfortunately the wind was too strong and most of us went back to the warm cafeteria where we ate cold subs, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, fruits, nuts and cheese. After refueling ourselves, we made our way back where our first stop was the Jelly Fish exhibit. The kids were awed by these diverse creatures that ranged in size from few millimeters to 100 times as big. We saw songs printed about jelly fish on the walls of the exhibit which thrilled our musically inclined group. Next, we spent some time in the Star Fish touch tank and saw the wildly exciting animals from the Amazon rainforest - piranhas, brightly colored poisonous toads, Anaconda and the electric Eel. One of the most exciting moment from out trip was when some of us saw (and most of us heard!) the loud electric pulse generated by the Electric Eel as it captured its prey- a tiny fish.
Around 2:30 PM we made our way to the Aquarium gift shop where the kids spent some time searching for a souvenir to remember our wonderful trip. We completed our trip with a closing circle where everyone shared their favorite memory of the day and Ben ended with 2 important conservation messages - the need to protect the habitats of these wonderful organisms that are being threatened by overfishing & pollution and the need to treat these animals in a kind, humane manner. On the T ride back, the group worked on a few rhymes as one of the participants stole the show with this rapping about the aquarium!
A link to the photo album can be found here: http://www.bostonico.org/apps/photos/album?albumid=15408105