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Meet Eels, Pufferfish, Terrapins and more at SUBMERGE

September 24

Hudson River Park’s annual SUBMERGE Marine Science Festival is just days away! This Saturday, September 28, come by HRPK’s Pier 84 from 11AM-4PM for a day of interactive experiments, kid-approved science entertainment, kayaking and wildlife galore. 

Introducing scientists of all ages to critters up close is one of our favorite parts of SUBMERGE, and this year’s wildlife is sure to spark wonder. Are you ready for some animal encounters? Here’s a sneak peek of our fantastic creatures and where to find them:

The Critter Corner will feature a series of tanks filled with animals native to the NYC area that have been making the River Project Wetlab at Pier 40 their summer home. Stop by to meet them and learn all about what makes them unique with experts from the River Project. A few of these species include:

The Northern Puffer

Northern puffers are named for their ability to puff up into a spikey ball as a way to fend off predators. As exciting as this behavior is in action, you’ll most likely find this fish in its non-inflated state at SUBMERGE, which means that the fish feels safe. (We aim to keep our northern puffers happy.)

Diamondback Terrapins 

Diamondback Terrapins are turtles native to tidal brackish water environments like the lower Hudson River Estuary and New York Harbor. They have hard, beak-like mouths great for chomping on hard-shelled mollusks. Plus they look like they’re always smiling – making them perfect companions for your SUBMERGE selfies.

Spider Crabs

Spider Crabs are a hardy species; they have a tough exoskeleton and can survive in poor water quality conditions. Unlike many other crab species that only walk sideways, spider crabs can walk in a forward motion too – see them in action at the Critter Corner.

Big, the Giant Oyster

The largest oyster found in New York in 100 years returns to SUBMERGE. Weighing in at approximately two pounds, this oyster is a feast for the eyes! The River Project scientists keep Big alive and well with a constant flow of Hudson River water, rich with plankton and nutrients (yum!). 

Horseshoe Crabs

One of the oldest animals on the planet, horseshoe crabs are often nicknamed “living fossils” because they can be traced back 445 million years. These prehistoric arthropods are visiting from CERCOM at Molloy College on Long Island, the only institution that has been able to breed these creatures and have them survive past their larval stage, which is a major accomplishment in the conservation of the species. Discover why at SUBMERGE!

This year, the Science Stage is sure to be a hoot! Don’t b-eel-ieve us? Check out the wildlife awaiting their SUBMERGE curtain call:

Birds of Prey

These powerful birds have all been rescued by Wildlife Institute of Eastern NY from life threatening injuries and can no longer survive in the wild. Now, they serve as ambassadors for their majestic species and help educate the public why they are important to protect! After their appearance on the stage from 12:30-1:30PM, they’ll head over to the Critter Corner for a meet and greet. 

American Eels 

Later in the afternoon, American eels take the stage. During this Eel Encounter from 3-3:30PM, eel expert, Chris Bowser, will tell you everything you need to know about this mysterious fish and its incredible life cycle (did you know they migrate nearly 1,000 miles over their lifetimes?). These eels are not electric, so fret not for the safety of our amazing presenter. 

These are just a handful of the spectacular species you can meet up close at HRPK’s sixth annual SUBMERGE Marine Science Festival. See you this Saturday at Pier 84 from 11 AM-4 PM – it’s sure to be a wild time!