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Top 5 Reasons to Save the Oceans

A group of children look at a scene of fish swimming in the ocean
Audubon Nature Institute Gulf of Mexico Exhibit designed by CambridgeSeven – Photo Credit: Rusty Costanza / Digital Roux Photography

 

Through our on-going exhibit work with leading aquariums and eco-centers, we continue to discover wonderful examples that leave us in awe of our blue planet and help reconfirm our commitment to do our part to protect our oceans. Here are some of our current favorite reasons and the projects that highlight them:

1) Protect Our Fellow Architects, the Reef Worm

Ocean Preservation - Worm Reefs on the coast of Florida
Worm Reefs at Bathtub Reef in Florida – Photo Credit: Florida Oceanographic Society
Informative graphic of a Reef Worm for the Florida Oceanographic Society's exhibits
Informative graphic of a Reef Worm for the Florida Oceanographic Society’s exhibits

Our soon-to-open Ocean EcoCenter for the Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center in Stuart, FL, is THE place to learn about these nifty little reef builders and the extraordinary biodiversity of Florida’s waters. Worm Reef Beach shares the spotlight with three other interconnected habitats explored through a mix of high-tech media and simpler, hands-on interactives. Co-stars include denizens of the Indian River Estuary, the Florida Reef Tract and the mysterious Sargasso Sea. Floridians inspired to reduce ocean plastics and volunteer in sea grass and oyster reef restoration can find ideas and opportunities on the Center’s social media channels.

This graphic we designed for the new exhibit is all about Worm Reefs and their importance to the ecosystem. The exhibit is slated to open later this Summer.

 

 

2) Gentle Giants and Menacing Miniatures

Lion's Mane Jellyfish swimming in the ocean
Lion’s Mane Jellyfish – Photo Credit: WGBH
Mantis Shrimp- Photo Credit: Dorothea OLDANI
Mantis Shrimp- Photo Credit: Dorothea OLDANI

What’s 8-feet in diameter, can grow tentacles up to 100 feet long, sting a human into next week but provide shelter and protection to the vulnerable? Head to our newest exhibit at the expanded Virginia Aquarium & Science Center in Virginia Beach, VA, and find out about these REALLY big Lion’s Mane jellies. Thankfully, they only grow to this size in the Arctic Ocean where we’re not likely to swim, but still… At the smaller end of the scale of tough ocean dwellers, visitors can meet the colorful Mantis Shrimp which packs a mighty punch, pulling back club-like arms and releasing them with 330lbs of force to, wait for it…crush its prey. We’ll say! It’s not all size and might, because the Giant Pacific Octopus will dazzle visitors with its extraordinary intelligence and all the dexterity that comes with having eight arms.

3) Oyster Sex in the City

Photo of New York City and piles in the river, where the ocean and freshwater meet.
Photo Credit: Hudson River Park Trust
Site plan of the new Hudson River Estuarium in New York
Site plan of the new Hudson River Estuarium in New York

New York neighborhoods are always transforming and this underwater spot at the mouth of the Hudson River is all the rage for future oysters and many other species. The Hudson River Estuary, now a 400-acre estuarine sanctuary, is the point where the Atlantic’s saltwater mixes with the Hudson’s upstate freshwater flow creating a habitat that is as diverse and dynamic as any New York City Borough. Oyster romance needs a little outside help. But that romance is significant and indicative of the habitat restoring itself beneath the oily surface. The new Hudson River Estuarium Ocean Nurseries exhibit will include specially designed tanks where pea-sized oyster “spat” are nurtured and then transferred to protected areas at the river’s edge. This future hub for public outreach and education will introduce New Yorkers and its many visitors to this exclusive underwater neighborhood.

4) Ward Against Alien Invasions

Three people capture a Burmese Python - an invasive animal in Florida.
Photo Credit: Conservancy of Southwest Florida
Design rendering of the new Dalton Discovery Center by CambridgeSeven
A rendering of the new Dalton Discovery Center at the Naples Nature Center, featuring exhibits about invasive species.

With pythons and lion(fish) invading Florida’s finely-tuned ecosystem, it’s no wonder that the Conservancy of Southwest Florida’s Dalton Discovery Center is moving beyond educating children and families about the unique and endangered habitats of Florida. New animals, exhibits, and interactive media expand the focus onto global issues and a healthy ocean, interpreting the dangers to the planet from invasive species and climate change. The new exhibits and hands-on activities highlight the terrifying consequences with tangible examples of sea level rise, storm surges, erosion and the impacted animals. All is not without hope here though: your visit concludes with achievable goals and a call-to-action, Climate Solutions 101, from the non-profit climate crusaders at Project Drawdown.

 

5) She Sells Seashells

People on a Cape Cod coastal setting harvesting oysters

Shellfish Hatchery on Cape Cod – Photo Credit: Arc Hatchery
“I must down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide…” John Masefield, “Sea Fever”
A design rendering of Expedition Blue, a new informative outdoor wayfinding and seating structure on Cape Cod. Designed by CambridgeSeven
A rendering of one of the Expedition Blue installations on the coast of Cape Cod.

Fisherfolk have long known that they thrive only when the seas thrive. Anything that disrupts this delicate balance can have catastrophic effects on their livelihood and by extension the vibrant commercial and tourist-based economies that support coastal communities. In an effort to bring attention to the importance of the local Blue Economy, ten Cape Cod towns are telling their stories through Expedition Blue, a series of sustainably designed waypoint installations dotting the towns’ seashores. From Falmouth’s oyster beds to Provincetown’s tidal flats, visitors can learn how humans and marine life can symbiotically co-exist and enrich and sustain one another’s futures.

 

Find more helpful articles about designing for nature below!

 

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