New exhibit at National Aquarium is all about beach life

Baltimore - It may be at the Inner Harbor, but the National Aquarium wants to take visitors to the beach.  A new exhibit announced this week will go beyond the boardwalk with a unique hands-on experience called 'Living Seashore.'

"It's really going to be dissecting the beach and interpreting it in such a way that people will appreciate it much more," said Aquarium General Curator Jack Cover.

The 'Living Seashore' exhibit will go right above 'Blacktip Reef' on the third floor.  It's under construction now, and when finished it will highlight the life you would find on a mid-Atlantic beach.  More then 150 animals will live in the display, and adventurous visitors can touch some of the creatures in two touch ponds.

"People can go and touch things like Atlantic stingrays, knobbed whelks, horseshoe crabs,” Cover said.  “And another touch pool where they'll actually get to touch moon jellies."

Workers will be on hand to help folks understand why the coast is so important, and talk about conservation.  About 5,331 gallons of salt water will make up the exhibit.

"It's a really incredibly dynamic, unique environment and we want to basically show people how it's a great place and all the different types of animals you'll find there," said Cover.

Officials say the 2,700 square foot exhibit will cost about $5.5-million to build.  ‘Living Seashore’ is set to open sometime next spring.