Maritime Aquarium receives $485K grant

The Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk has received a $484,955 federal grant that will be used to teach nearly 2,000 students from 10 Fairfield County towns how severe storms, erosion and other environmental hazards threaten their communities.

The grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the U.S. Department of Commerce is the largest federal grant the aquarium has received in 28 years and will fund its Sound Resilience – Get On Board! Initiative.

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 in education and research projects in school classrooms and aboard the aquarium’s hybrid-electric R/V Spirit of the Sound research vessel.

There will also be professional-development workshops to benefit more than 150 local teachers.

“In the classroom, students and teachers will learn about key environmental threats that impact their communities, the specific sites where those threats are most relevant, and resilience projects that are underway or will be necessary in the future,” said Maritime Aquarium Education Director Tom Naiman.

“Then, they will examine the coastline from the water, where they also will take part in science that will allow a deeper understanding of threats and the way they may be impacted by climate change.”

The aquarium will now begin to develop educational content by using NOAA educational resources and collaborating with the Western Connecticut Council of Governments (WCCOG), the University of Connecticut’s Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation (CIRCA) and Connecticut Sea Grant.

The aquarium will also work with an advisory board to review key educational strategies and resources and to identify participating schools.

For aquarium guests, a related new exhibit will explore the ways that people and marine life in Long Island Sound are impacted by extreme weather and climate change.

To learn more about the Maritime Aquarium, visit