Navy Day at Whaling Museum highlights ocean research efforts

Seals & Society: Sharing our Shores March 21 – Open to all 

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. —New Bedford Whaling Museum visitors will learn about sharing our shores with seals, sea lions, and walruses during Navy Day on March 21, 2020. The annual event, hosted by the Whaling Museum and its “Whales Today” exhibition partners at the U.S. Navy, aims to teach visitors about current research efforts and the role the Navy plays in protecting the world’s oceans. Navy Day runs from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and is open to everyone. The day will feature fascinating talks by scientists and Museum experts, a screening of the film “Wild Life – Best Documentary About Seals,” hands-on exploration stations, and music performed by Navy Band Northeast SeaBreeze Vibes Duo. Family-friendly activities about marine mammals and environmental stewardship are scheduled throughout the day. Navy Day is free for Department of Defense (DoD) ID holders, veterans with VA IDs or DD-214 forms, and their families, as well as for Whaling Museum Members. Activities are free to the general public with regular Museum admission. More information, including a full schedule of events, is available at The New Bedford Whaling Museum is located at 18 Johnny Cake Hill, New Bedford, Massachusetts.

Among the exhibitions that visitors can explore on Navy Day is “Whales Today,” which will be significantly expanded later this year to explore the biology and behavior of seals, sea lions, and walruses. The U.S. Navy and the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) play significant roles in research on marine mammals and the preservation of ocean wildlife, and have partnered with the Whaling Museum on creating exhibits for “Whales Today.”

In 2014, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) gifted two extraordinary collections to the Whaling Museum that helped launch the modern whale conservation movement: The William A. Watkins Collection of Marine Mammal Sound Recordings and Data and the William A. Watkins and William E. Schevill Collection of Images and Instruments. These two collections continue to inform cetacean research and contemporary conservation policy, and both are integrally connected with the U.S. Navy, which provided the first platforms and funding for Schevill and Watkins.

The Navy’s environmental mascot, a friendly sea turtle named Stewie, will be on site during Navy Day. He is part of the Navy’s Stewards of the Sea environmental outreach team and is seen at events throughout the nation. Visitors can also climb inside the Museum’s life-size inflatable whale to learn about whale anatomy, crawl through a model of a blue whale heart, and go below deck on the world’s largest ship model.


Tina Malott
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
New Bedford Whaling Museum
508-997-0046 Ext. 140


About the New Bedford Whaling Museum
The New Bedford Whaling Museum is the world's most comprehensive museum devoted to the global story of human interaction with whales through time, and the history and culture of the South Coast region. The cornerstone of New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, the Museum is located at 18 Johnny Cake Hill in the heart of the city's historic downtown. Museum hours: January through March, Tuesday – Saturday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.; April through December, daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.  Admission is free for Museum members and children ages three and under; adults $19, seniors (65+) $17, students (19+) $12, child and youth $9. For more information visit                                                


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Caption: Some of the exhibits in the Whaling Museum's exhibition "Whales Today." The skeletons of a female North Atlantic Right Whale is shown at left. A juvenile Blue Whale is in the middle, and a Humpback Whale skeleton is on the far right. Also shown are exhibits about whale biology and behavior.

Whales Today exhibit in JFGallery


Caption: This life size model of a North Atlantic Right Whale head is part of the exhibition “Whales Today” at the New Bedford Whaling Museum.

life-sized model of NA Right Whale head


Caption: Stewie the friendly environmental turtle, will be on site during Navy Day at the Whaling Museum. Here, Stewie, played by Fire Controlman 1st Class Jason Mosher, from Alamogordo, N.M., teaches Girl Scouts about the Navy's efforts to improve the environment during the 2nd Annual Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Day at the Nauticus Museum. More than 200 Girl Scouts participated in the event to see how STEM subjects can be applied in different career fields. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jesse A. Hyatt/Released)

Stewie the friendly environmental turtle