Information on:

The Maritime Aquarium

10 North Water Street
203-852-0700

Mission:

The Maritime Aquarium inspires people of all ages to appreciate Long Island Sound and protect it for future generations. A vibrant and entertaining learning environment, the Maritime Aquarium achieves this goal through living exhibits, marine science, and environmental education.

A Brief History of The Maritime Aquarium

In the mid-1970s, the city of Norwalk under the direction of then-Mayor William Collins undertook the South Norwalk Revitalization Project. The goal of this program was to preserve the historic architecture of South Norwalk, affectionately dubbed SoNo, and revitalize the neighborhood. The Washington Street National Historic District was established, and 32 buildings were placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

However, it would take more than old buildings to turn SoNo around. Plans were drawn for a major attraction that would bring people and tourism dollars into SoNo. The City of Norwalk and its Redevelopment Agency, along with The Oceanic Society, the Norwalk Seaport Association, and the Junior League of Stamford-Norwalk made a major commitment to developing the new maritime center, complete with an aquarium featuring live animals from Long Island Sound, an IMAX theatre with an eight stories wide and six stories high screen, and a boat collection.

In 1986, ground-breaking ceremonies took place on the site of a former 1860s iron works factory, an abandoned brick building on the SoNo waterfront. What was then called The Maritime Center at Norwalk opened on July 16, 1988.

In July 1996, The Maritime Center at Norwalk changed its name to The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk to better identify itself to the public and underscore the increasing importance of the live animal exhibits.

According to a March 2003 Economic Impact Study, the Aquarium's annual economic impact on Norwalk is $20.3 million. Statewide, the Aquarium's economic impact is $41.8 million. (The dollar figures include visitor spending, jobs in the Aquarium, jobs created outside the Aquarium by its tourist trade, taxes paid by visitors and employees, and other spending.) And as the Aquarium grows, so does our positive impact on the community.

The Maritime Aquarium has been at the center of a major turnaround in South Norwalk. SoNo now bustles by day with unique shops, boutiques, coffee shops, and delis, and by night with nightclubs, acclaimed restaurants, and cinemas.

Annual attendance now averages over 500,000 visitors, making it one of the largest attractions in Connecticut (and the largest in Connecticut within 100 miles of New York City). Among the Aquarium's visitors are more than 150,000 schoolchildren on field trips, many of whom participate in marine-science programs offered by an active Education Department.

To support the growing number of visitors and educational programs, The Maritime Aquarium completed its first major expansion project. Opened in April 2001, the new $9.5 million Environmental Education Center (funded through corporate, private, and state contributions) boasts new classrooms and high-tech educational equipment, plus a new main entrance, larger gift shop and 180-seat food-service area. The move from the old gift shop also allowed for the addition of loggerhead sea turtles to the Aquarium's growing animal collection.

In 2005 The Maritime Aquarium adopted a new mission statement which rededicated the Aquarium to inspiring its visitors to preserve and protect Long Island Sound and its inhabitants. To that end, the Aquarum is currently engaged in an extensive master planning process which will lead to expansion in its exhibits and programs and an even sharper focus on the conservation of Long Island Sound and all the world's oceans.



The Maritime Aquarium is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media

Upcoming Events at The Maritime Aquarium

Film - 2001: A Space Odyssey

Friday, Oct 19, 2018 at 7:00pm
Maritime Aquarium
Norwalk, CT
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Octoberfest Cruise

Saturday, Oct 20, 2018 at 5:30pm
Norwalk, CT
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Film - 2001: A Space Odyssey

Saturday, Oct 20, 2018 at 7:00pm
Maritime Aquarium
Norwalk, CT
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Film - 2001: A Space Odyssey

Sunday, Oct 21, 2018 at 7:00pm
Maritime Aquarium
Norwalk, CT
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Fish School - Free Open House for Educators

Wednesday, Oct 24, 2018 from 4:00pm to 7:00pm
Maritime Aquarium
Norwalk, CT
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Film - 2001: A Space Odyssey

Thursday, Oct 25, 2018 at 7:00pm
Maritime Aquarium
Norwalk, CT
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Film - 2001: A Space Odyssey

Friday, Oct 26, 2018 at 7:00pm
Maritime Aquarium
Norwalk, CT
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Octoberfest Cruise

Saturday, Oct 27, 2018 at 5:30pm
Norwalk, CT
Read More »

Film - 2001: A Space Odyssey

Saturday, Oct 27, 2018 at 7:00pm
Maritime Aquarium
Norwalk, CT
Read More »

Film - 2001: A Space Odyssey

Sunday, Oct 28, 2018 at 7:00pm
Maritime Aquarium
Norwalk, CT
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Film - 2001: A Space Odyssey

Thursday, Nov 1, 2018 at 7:00pm
Maritime Aquarium
Norwalk, CT
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Fish Tales Storytime

Friday, Nov 2, 2018 from 10:15am to 11:00am
Norwalk, CT
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Film - 2001: A Space Odyssey

Friday, Nov 2, 2018 at 7:00pm
Maritime Aquarium
Norwalk, CT
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Film - 2001: A Space Odyssey

Saturday, Nov 3, 2018 at 7:00pm
Maritime Aquarium
Norwalk, CT
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Feeding Time!

Sunday, Nov 4, 2018 from 8:30am to 10:00am
Norwalk, CT
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Film - 2001: A Space Odyssey

Sunday, Nov 4, 2018 at 7:00pm
Maritime Aquarium
Norwalk, CT
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Film - 2001: A Space Odyssey

Thursday, Nov 8, 2018 at 7:00pm
Maritime Aquarium
Norwalk, CT
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Fish Tales Storytime

Friday, Nov 9, 2018 from 10:15am to 11:00am
Norwalk, CT
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Film - 2001: A Space Odyssey

Friday, Nov 9, 2018 at 7:00pm
Maritime Aquarium
Norwalk, CT
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Aquarium Yoga

Saturday, Nov 10, 2018 from 8:30am to 9:45am
Norwalk, CT
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Film - 2001: A Space Odyssey

Saturday, Nov 10, 2018 at 7:00pm
Maritime Aquarium
Norwalk, CT
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Film - 2001: A Space Odyssey

Sunday, Nov 11, 2018 at 7:00pm
Maritime Aquarium
Norwalk, CT
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The International Ocean Film Tour

Thursday, Nov 15, 2018 at 7:00pm
Norwalk, CT
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Fish Tales Storytime

Friday, Nov 16, 2018 from 10:15am to 11:00am
Norwalk, CT
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Fish Tales Storytime

Friday, Nov 23, 2018 from 10:15am to 11:00am
Norwalk, CT
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Fish Tales Storytime

Friday, Nov 30, 2018 from 10:15am to 11:00am
Norwalk, CT
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Photos