Newport Aquarium's Hatchling Harbor Exhibit Features Baby Sea Animals in Immersive Experience

The exhibit is designed to take you "beyond the glass" and feel like you're in the animals' habitat with them.

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click to enlarge The Cuban hogfish is one of the many baby marine species you'll see in Hatchling Harbor. - Photo: Provided by Newport Aquarium
Photo: Provided by Newport Aquarium

The Cuban hogfish is one of the many baby marine species you'll see in Hatchling Harbor.

Oh, baby! The Newport Aquarium is opening a new exhibit to introduce you to some of its youngest residents. At 25 feet, Hatchling Harbor will be among the longest tanks in the aquarium and will serve as a new ecosystem for hundreds of colorful animals, many of them babies.

The aquarium says this Caribbean seagrass habitat will be set in an immersive environment to allow visitors the chance to explore this area between the shore and the reef. Guests will get to see marine life like the scrawled filefish, lobsters, crabs, urchins and conchs, as well as the beach-building parrotfish, which creates sand when it uses its beak to crunch on coral in search of food. And because the animals are so young, Hatchling Harbor will offer a new experience every day as the babies grow and change.

“We work hard to make sure we’re taking guests ‘beyond the glass’ when we create a new exhibit,” Rebecca Foster, Newport Aquarium’s executive director, said in a press release. “You can better connect with the animals if you really feel like you’re with them in the environment where they live.”

And part of Hatchling Harbor’s environment will include a barnacle-encrusted pier, but visitors will get to see it from below from the perspective of the fish, complete with the illusion of sun shimmering on the water's surface above.

Hatchling Harbor is slated to open on March 3. Buy tickets and make a reservation on the aquarium's website.

While there, visitors also can visit the new sand tiger sharks in the Surrounded by Sharks exhibits. In November, Newport Aquarium announced the three sharks' arrival and hosted a naming contest for them. The winning names have not been announced as of press time.

Newport Aquarium, 1 Levee Way, Newport. More information:

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