Aquarium to mark World Ocean Day with free programming on Saturday, June 1

An Aquarium trainer interacts with a young guest during World Ocean Day 2023.
An Aquarium trainer interacts with a young guest during World Ocean Day 2023. CREDIT: New England Aquarium

BOSTON, MASS. (May 22, 2024) – The New England Aquarium is marking World Ocean Day with free activities on Central Wharf for the public to learn about ways to ensure a healthy future for the ocean.

People of all ages are invited to Central Wharf on Saturday, June 1, for a day of special educational programming along Boston’s waterfront. While June 8 traditionally marks World Ocean Day, the Aquarium is celebrating a week early. This year’s World Ocean Day celebration is centered around the theme “Connecting Communities, Empowering Action for Our Ocean,” with expanded offerings, partners, and community members that work to protect the ocean, including the Massachusett Tribe at Ponkapoag, art from young artists with the Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Program, and Java with Jimmy.

There will be a variety of activities available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both outside the Aquarium and in the Simons Theatre that is free to all, plus some educational opportunities inside the aquarium for guests who purchase tickets. Free programming will include:

  • “Ask a Scientist” booth – Aquarium scientists will be on Central Wharf Plaza to share their work protecting the ocean and the amazing species that live there. Each hour of the day will have a different theme.
  • Life-size humpback whale – Representatives from NOAA Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary will join the celebration on the plaza, alongside a 43-foot humpback whale named “Salt” (weather permitting).
  • Interactive fish weir building – Join members of the Massachusett Tribe at Ponkapoag to participate in a hands-on fish weir building activity, providing attendees with an immersive experience into traditional fishing practices.
  • Youth art exhibition – Featuring ocean and climate themes, art created by young people participating in Bow Seat’s Ocean Awareness Contest will be on display in both the Harbor View Terrace Tent and Simons Theatre.
  • More programming details can be found on the Aquarium’s blog.

Programming for guests who purchase tickets:

  • Special presentations – Aquarium staff will deliver short presentations focused on the many ways the Aquarium takes care of our animal communities and how we all can take action within our own communities to protect animals all over the world. The programming will be available at the penguin exhibit, the top of the Giant Ocean Tank, in the New Balance Foundation Marine Mammal Center, and at the Atlantic harbor seal habitat.
  • North Atlantic right whale cart activity – This tabletop activity highlights collaborative efforts of scientists, the fishing community, and the government to protect the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale, focusing particularly on the implementation of ropeless or “on-demand” fishing gear.

The Aquarium’s summer hours, beginning May 26, are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week. Tickets can be reserved in advance at


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