Monday, October 16, 2017

A Whole New World

By Julia Akerman, Communications Intern

I live in a world of writing, media, and chaos. In other words, the world of public relations. As a communications intern at Save The Bay, I write blogs, press releases, and update media lists, all from the inside of a cube on a computer. I was lucky enough to leave my beloved cube for a day and take a field trip to explore a different component of Save The Bay. I volunteered at the Exploration Center in Newport, and I had an amazing experience.

The moment I opened the door, I felt like I was inside an aquarium. Kids were pointing at the tanks with excitement, and aquarists were describing exotic critters with words I didn’t know existed. Everywhere I looked, eyes from different types of critters glaring at me. I immediately became intrigued and excited for the day I had ahead of me.

The day began with an amazing start at admissions, because the open doors provided a cool ocean breeze and breathtaking views of the beautiful Easton’s Beach in Newport. Families came rushing in throughout the morning, the kids tugging on their parents’ arms, begging them to hurry up so they could go explore inside.

For the rest of the day, I was inside the Exploration Center stationed at the unique touch tanks. The first touch tank was crawling with horseshoe crabs and hovering skates. One by one, curious children popped their heads over the edge to see the horseshoe crabs, their eyes lighting up with excitement. To my surprise, many children were afraid of the horseshoe crabs, because they thought their spikey tails were harmful. I helped the courageous children hold the horseshoe crabs and shared with them that the tail’s purpose is to help the horseshoe crab flip over if they land on their backs.

I ended my day with my favorite exhibit, the shark touch tank. This touch tank interested me the most, because not only was it cool to observe the behaviors of the sharks, but also to see the reactions of visitors at the tank. When people first approached the tank, they were hesitant but very curious at the same time. After studying the sharks, a few daring souls gathered enough courage to stick their hands down to touch them. Witnessing this experience for people was amazing because I know many people fear sharks and, here they began to realize that the violent image society has painted about sharks - happens to be false.

My experience at the Exploration Center was unforgettable. I was fascinated to see so many different species of animals in the aquariums and to know that they were all found in the Narragansett Bay. I am thankful that I can return to my beloved cube and share my experience with all of you. Thanks to Save The Bay, the public is welcome to learn more about Narragansett Bay’s marine life at this amazing facility on Easton’s Beach and to help support its mission to protect and improve the Narragansett Bay area.

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