NEWPORT – Save the Bay is set to reopen its Exploration Center and Aquarium this weekend, nearly nine months after Superstorm Sandy flooded the center’s filtration electrical equipment.
The aquarium will open Saturday, July 27, on the ground floor of the Rotunda at Easton’s Beach in Newport.
Most of the center’s life systems, home to its exhibits of animals native to Narragansett Bay, were previously housed in the Rotunda’s basement. The underground space filled with seawater and sand during the storm, destroying the filtration, plumbing, and electrical equipment that keeps the animals alive.
Save the Bay staff and volunteers moved most of the animals to the organization’s Bay Center in Providence or to partner organizations. They released the center’s two dogfish sharks back into the ocean.
“Considering the fact that all of the exhibits were without filtration and aeration for several hours, we didn’t lose any critters,” said Save the Bay Aquarist Adam Kovarsky in a statement.
Staff and volunteers have since refurbished the center and installed a new filtration system, with the help of donations from the community and local companies. The R.I. Department of Environmental Management and local fishermen have provided new dogfish sharks and other specimens for the reopened aquarium.