NOAA has teamed up with the Smithsonian Institute to bring the depths of the ocean to the National Mall, in Washington D.C. This past weekend, the Institute inaugurated the Sant Ocean Hall in the National Museum of Natural History: an exhibit that aims to raise awareness of the importance of the ocean and the effect of human activities on marine life. NOAA tells us about the exhibit:
Phoenix, a 45-foot model of a living North Atlantic Right Whale, serves as the Hall’s signature symbol. There are 10 sections in the hall that address a variety of ocean-related topics, including the deep ocean, coral reefs, the Arctic and Southern Oceans and current ocean research. The Coral Reef section has a 1,500-gallon aquarium featuring an Indo-Pacific reef with over 1,000 specimens of more than 50 different species of live fish and other marine life. The hall’s “Journey through Time” section looks into the past with fossils of a large number of ancient organisms; some are more than 500 million years old. In the exhibit’s theater, a 13-minute video, “Deep Ocean Explorers,” takes visitors on a dive through the zones of the open ocean to the deep ocean bottom aboard the submersible, Alvin.
The exhibit is a good fit that fills a void in both the Natural History Museum and others in the area. I will be sure to check that out next time I am over in our Nations Capital.
In other news, just a few hours north in New York, The Intrepid is finally making its way back to the West Side of New York City after two years from being hauled off for renovations.
According to the Museum’s website, the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum will be re-opening on November 8th, with a large celebration on November 11th; Veteran’s Day.
For New Yorkers, it is a welcoming return for the legendary warship that has sat right next the West Side Highway at Pier 86 since the early eighties.
The Intrepid served a long career in the U.S. Navy and has quite a bit of experience in battle. Commission in 1943, the Intrepid has fought in 6 major Pacific campaigns and has been the victim of Japanese Kamikazes. It also served in both the Korean and Vietnam Wars and even as a recovery ship for NASA astronauts.