October 16, 2003
Contact: Peper Long 202-673-0206
National Zoo To Open Chesapeake Bay
The Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park today (Oct. 16) announced the Oct. 17 opening of its new Blue Crab and the Bay exhibit. This new exhibit, located behind the Reptile Discovery Center, is part of the National Zoo’s Invertebrate Exhibit.
Opening in celebration of World Water Monitoring Day, the exhibit was developed in part through a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency, a partnership with the Chesapeake Bay Program and the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. It highlights the biology of the blue crab, Callinectes sapidus, focusing on its life cycles and its environment in the Chesapeake Bay.
The exhibit will display live crabs and include video and graphics that demonstrate the biology of the blue crab and its place in the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem.
The exhibit will open to the public at 10 a.m. and National Zoo Director Lucy Spelman will address attendees at 10:30 a.m. Other scheduled speakers include representatives from the EPA and SERC. In addition, families present will participate in several activities including a short walk to Rock Creek to conduct a water test for World Water Monitoring Day.
"It is important to learn about the biology and environment of the blue crab, and to learn ways to protect its vitality and prevent the decay of the Bay,” said National Zoo Director Lucy Spelman. “This exhibit is an excellent example of how two Smithsonian organizations -- the National Zoo and SERC -- can combine efforts with other groups -- the EPA and the Chesapeake Bay Program -- to bring the blue crab’s educational story to the Zoo’s millions of visitors each year.”
Chesapeake Bay Program Director Rebecca Hanmer adds, “The National Zoo’s new blue crab exhibit will teach thousands of visitors about a nationally known Bay species and will help them learn about how their everyday actions impact the blue crab and the entire Chesapeake Bay ecosystem.”
Some Blue Crab Facts
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