The New England Aquarium opened the $10 million open-air Marine Mammal Center which is free to the public on the Harborwalk around the aquarium. The New Balance Foundation contributed $3 million of the cost and received naming rights.
Northern fur seals are the main attraction as they swiftly skim the harbor water in a shallow pool. The pool has 5 out of a total of only 13 in all aquariums across the U.S. Spectators can sit on tiered seating to watch the seals play, along with scheduled training, teeth brushing and cleaning.
As part of the New Balance sponsorship, the exhibit is targeting obese children through a “Move It!” guide to demonstrate how mammals should stay active, including humans. There are 6 exercise stations in the Marine Mammals in Motion program to encourage kids to exercise. What doesn’t really match the concept is that fur seals eat over 10,000 calories per day. That’s a lot of fish & chips!
More information on the New England Aquarium at Central Wharf can be found at www.neaq.org.