The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s Boating Division and the Mystic Aquarium worked together on a new interactive safe boating exhibit that officially opened for National Safe Boating Week.
The aquarium had an exhibit of remotely operated miniature yachts in their fresh water pond. Additional signage was added beside the small pond to increase the opportunity to educate the operators about clean and safe boating practices like wearing a life jacket, the history of light houses, and types of navigation aids. The operators can now navigate through navigation aids, around rocks and other safety signs that a boater may encounter.
The activity is designed to teach the operator about boating safety and being environmentally responsible while boating. The signage also promotes the use of pumpout facilities and preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species in other waterbodies by cleaning vessels and equipment.
A light house was built adjacent to the pond to house a TV with a continuous video providing educational information delivered by Connecticut’s Boating Law Administrator and Boating Division Director, Eleanor Mariani and other staff. This video received the NASBLA Seal of Safe Boating prior to its incorporation into the display.
This boating safety display, funded in part by Recreational Boating Safety and State Transportation Funds, will provide passive education to the 800,000 visitors that come to the aquarium each year. In addition, DEEP will occasionally have boating safety education personnel on site to interact with visitors and further enhance the education experience.