Join Us to Celebrate World Ocean Day

People of all ages are invited to Central Wharf on Saturday, June 1, to celebrate, learn about, and take action to protect our ocean.

By New England Aquarium on Wednesday, May 22, 2024

See caption below
Aquarium staff engage guests on the importance of protecting the blue planet Photo: Vanessa Kahn

World Ocean Day is officially on June 8, but the Aquarium is kicking off celebrations early on Saturday, June 1, with an all-ages event across Central Wharf, the Simons Theatre, and our main building. Learn more about World Ocean Day and what’s in store for the event below.

Two Aquarium staff members holding a sign that says
Aquarium staff kicking off World Ocean Day celebrations in 2023

What is World Ocean Day?

World Ocean Day is a worldwide event that “catalyzes collective action for a healthy ocean and stable climate.” With a network of youth leaders and over 2,000 organizations across more than 150 countries, World Ocean Day is a growing global movement to protect the blue planet.

Aquarium right whale scientists at our
Right whale scientists from our Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life at our "Ask a Scientist" booth on World Ocean Day Photo: Vanessa Kahn

Aquarium World Ocean Day Events & Programming

While June 8 traditionally marks World Ocean Day, the Aquarium is celebrating a week early. This year, the theme of the event is “Connecting Communities, Empowering Actions for our Ocean,” highlighting our broader conservation community and how, by working together, we can make a bigger impact to ensure a healthy future for our ocean.

We’re expanding our offerings and spotlighting more community members who work to protect our ocean, including Java with Jimmy, art from Bow Seat’s Ocean Awareness Program’s youth artists, the Massachusett Tribe at Ponkapoag, and more!

World Ocean Day celebrations take place on Saturday, June 1, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., both inside the Aquarium for guests who purchase tickets and with free activities for all visitors on Central Wharf and inside the Simons Theatre.

Please note that we often sell out on weekends, and guests are strongly encouraged to reserve tickets in advance.

Free Programming 

Central Wharf Plaza

NOAA Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary 
Meet representatives from NOAA Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary alongside their 43-foot inflatable whale, Salt (weather permitting). 

Massachusett Tribe at Ponkapoag: Fish Weir Building Activity
Members of the Massachusett Tribe at Ponkapoag will lead a hands-on fish weir-building activity, providing attendees with an immersive experience of traditional fishing practices. This activity will highlight the cultural and historical significance of fish weirs to the Indigenous peoples of the Boston Harbor area. Participants will gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of these sustainable fishing methods and their role in the ecosystem.

“Ask a Scientist” Booth
Scientists from our Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life, Sea Turtle Rescue & Rehabilitation, and Animal Care team will be on Central Wharf to meet visitors and answer questions about their work protecting our ocean and marine animals. 

Harborview Terrace and Tent

ClimaTeens: Microplastics Activity Table
Enjoy a quick, interactive board game developed by our amazing ClimaTeens to learn about how microplastics affect the ocean and humans who depend on it. 

Aquarium Volunteer & Internship Programs Info Station
Meet members of our Volunteer & Internship team and learn about opportunities for adults and teens to work at the Aquarium.

Build-a-Reef Game with Conservation Learning
Guests are invited to join our Conservation Learning team to build their own coral reef and brainstorm ways to combat challenges it might face, such as climate change. This activity will highlight the importance of coral reef communities and actions we can all take to protect them.

Marine Art with Martin Kalere
Join local artist and UMass environmental science student Martin Kalere to create art inspired by ocean animals and see Martin’s own work. 

Uvida Sustainable Pop-up Shop
Uvida Shop, a minority & women-owned business, is Boston’s first zero-waste and eco-friendly store. Shop plastic-free products for improving home health to protect the environment through their wide variety and ever-expanding selection of affordable and sustainable household goods.  

Coalition for a Resilient and Inclusive Waterfront 
Learn about the Coalition for a Resilient and Inclusive Waterfront (CRIW), an alliance of non-profit organizations working together to address the urgent issues facing Boston’s harbor and rivers, including important initiatives like One Waterfront and the Aquarium’s Downtown Waterfront for All. Plus, get info about CRIW’s upcoming Waterfront Wellness Week. 

Hispanic Access Foundation: Latino Connections to the Ocean and Coast
Learn about the vital relationship between Latinos and our oceans and coasts from the Hispanic Access Foundation. Bilingual environmental and conservation toolkits will provide a comprehensive guide to the impact of water and climate issues on Latino communities and highlight local ocean conservation champions. 

Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Program Art Exhibition
View impactful art on the importance of protecting our ocean, made by young artists in the Bow Seat Awareness Program. The exhibit will display a diverse range of art pieces that highlight the beauty and fragility of marine life, aiming to raise awareness about ocean conservation issues. 

Java with Jimmy 
James Hills, a prominent community advocate, self-made talk show host, and critical voice in the Boston media, will join us to share World Ocean Day happenings in real-time with online audiences. He will be joined by a DJ to keep the party going throughout the day!

Piers Park Sailing Center
Learn about Piers Park Sailing Center’s youth and adult programs and the importance of equitable access to water. Located on the waterfront in East Boston, Piers Park Sailing Center is a non-profit community center dedicated to providing 100% accessible recreational, educational, and personal growth opportunities for people of all ages and abilities in Boston Harbor. 

Shell Sorting Activity with Museum of Science Teen Interns
This activity invites children (ages 0-8) to use their classification skills to consider the kind of animal that would live in a certain type of shell and then make observations and inferences about how that animal might interact with other parts of its ecosystem, based on its anatomy. 

Meet Local Artist Silvia López Chavez
Artist Silvia López Chavez will share the beautiful North Atlantic right whale design she created for the New Aquarium’s gift shop. Chavez is a visual artist working in painting, mural-making, and illustration. Much of her work is framed by her experience as an Afro-Caribbean woman living and working in Boston.

Simons Theatre

Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Program Art Exhibition
View impactful art on the importance of protecting our ocean, made by young artists in the Bow Seat Awareness Program. The exhibit will display a diverse range of art pieces that highlight the beauty and fragility of marine life, aiming to raise awareness about ocean conservation issues. 

Multiple Locations 

World Ocean Day Passport
Use our World Ocean Day Passport to visit all the diverse activities and community partners across our celebration at the New England Aquarium. Each event station will have a stamp for guests to mark their journey and the new friends they meet along the way! 

For Aquarium Ticket Holders

Connecting CommunitiesThemed Presentations 
Staff from our Conservation Learning and Pinnipeds and Penguins teams will deliver short presentations explaining the many ways we take care of our animal communities and how we all can take action within our own communities to take care of animals all over the world.

North Atlantic Right Whale Cart Activity
See our tabletop activity highlighting collaborative efforts to protect the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale, focusing particularly on the implementation of on-demand fishing gear, and learn about actions you can take to protect right whales. 


Every Visit Makes a Difference

Your ticket purchase to the Aquarium directly supports our mission to ensure a vital and vibrant ocean for all.