Aquarium to mark Massachusetts Right Whale Day on April 24

Public invited to learn about critically endangered species, see life-size whale

Right whale Calvin on Central Wharf Plaza
North Atlantic right whale “Calvin” on the Aquarium’s front plaza on Massachusetts Right Whale Day in April 2023. CREDIT: Vanessa Kahn

BOSTON, MASS. (April 2024) – The New England Aquarium will be marking the second annual Massachusetts Right Whale Day on April 24 with a number of events, including a speaking program with state officials, a chance to meet scientists leading right whale research, and on-demand or “ropeless” fishing gear manufacturers.

Former State Rep. Josh Cutler introduced H.3869 to establish Right Whale Day in honor of the state’s official marine mammal, a critically endangered species with a population numbering less than 360 individuals. It was signed into law in 2023, with the day now serving as an opportunity to educate the public about the plight of North Atlantic right whales, highlight expansive work and research to protect the species, and share ways to support right whale conservation efforts.

Activities in the Aquarium’s Harbor Terrace Tent and on Central Wharf Plaza are free of charge and open to the public. Plans for the day:

Speaking program

  • Members of the media and public are invited to attend an event from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Aquarium’s Harbor Terrace Tent, co-hosted by the Massachusetts Environmental Trust (MET) alongside the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) and the Department of Fish & Game’s Division of Marine Fisheries. The program will feature remarks about the importance of protecting right whales from the EEA, New England Aquarium, Center for Coastal Studies, and more.
  • Organizations and businesses advancing right whale conservation efforts will also have tables with information on right whale research, on-demand or “ropeless” fishing gear, and MET’s grant programs funded by the right whale license plate, which is marking its 30th

Life-size right whale on display

  • Calvin, a 42-foot-long inflatable right whale, will be on full display on Central Wharf Plaza (weather permitting) from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Visitors are invited to talk with Aquarium scientists and participate in hands-on educational activities about the Aquarium’s leading right whale research.

Programming inside the Aquarium

  • For guests indoors (Aquarium admission required), educators will be using marine mammal biological artifacts to connect visitors with right whale research, and guests are also encouraged to stop by the Blue Planet Action Center throughout the day to learn about right whale migration and the impacts of fishing gear entanglements.

Expert interviews

  • New England Aquarium scientists are available for advance and day-of interviews. The Aquarium has one of the longest-running right whale research programs in the world within the Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life. More than 20 scientists focus on solutions-based work, collaborating with fishermen on new techniques to reduce deadly entanglements in fishing gear, conducting spatial analyses to assess risk from vessels strikes, and working with lawmakers locally, nationally, and internationally to develop science-based protections for the whales.


MEDIA CONTACT: Pam Bechtold Snyder,; 617-686-5068