The Atlantic Ecology Division has attended the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management's Conservation Week and the Earth Day Festival at the Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence, Rhode Island for the last several years. In 2002 and 2003, AED exhibited our newest coastal research vessel, a 17 foot Boston Whaler as part of a field equipment display. Visitors were able to climb aboard the boat and get a close look at a working research vessel and our techniques for sediment, water quality, and plankton sampling. We also had a poster and brochure table which included information on current AED research, the Coastal 2000 program, sunflower seeds, key chains, neck bands for ID badges or glasses, and educational materials on environmental topics for teachers and children.
In previous years, the AED exhibit included our "petting tank," featuring starfish, spider crabs, rock crabs, windowpane flounder, horseshoe crabs, sea urchins, and seaweed local to Narragansett Bay. This tank has always been a huge success, because it is the only exhibit where children and adults can learn about local marine life as they hold them in their hands. We have also featured a microscope display table where people can feed mysid shrimp and view Artemia, fish embryos & larvae and phytoplankton.