Maritime Aquarium; CDC recall; Art Space

Artwork by Sophia Konstantin. (Contributed)

Announcements of interest.

NORWALK, Conn. — Some Norwalk announcements for you:

  • Maritime Aquarium highlights wetlands
  • Dry eye remedy recalled
  • Art Space’s latest exhibit
  • Aquarium seeks Volunteer Gallery Ambassadors

World Wetlands Day

Wetlands are essential to the earth’s wellbeing but “are declining at alarming rates” according to a news release from The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk which marked World Wetlands Day by describing the Aquarium’s efforts to buttress Long Island Sound’s marshes. Almost $600,000 of the Aquarium’s current $1.2 million conservation research grant funding is specifically dedicated to wetlands-related activity.

“It is critical that we act as good stewards of our marshes,” said Aquarium Conservation and Policy Director Sarah Crosby, PhD.  “At The Maritime Aquarium, our research and restoration efforts are forward thinking and center on climate change as we work to protect these habitats. If we make smart investments in restoration now, the positive impacts will be felt for generations to come.”

This summer, Crosby will lead a team of academic and non-governmental scientists comparing the restorative capacity of locally sourced marsh grass versus that of the same marsh grass species sourced from warmer areas farther south.  If the southern marsh grass thrives here, it could increase local marshes’ resistance to increased temperatures, reducing the marshes’ likelihood  of drowning and maximizing future restoration capacity.  A sense of urgency pervades the work, because the marshes “act as a filter and barrier between people and the sea. They protect coastal communities from storm damage, remove nutrients and pollutants from runoff, and store high levels of carbon below ground. When marshes are destroyed, their adjacent communities are at higher risk for erosion and storm impacts.”

Another project being considered by the Aquarium in partnership with the City and the Norwalk River Watershed Association is the use of native plants to create a “Living Shoreline” at Veterans Park, so as to “increase the resilience of the park’s water front while also improving water quality and habitat value of the surrounding area.”

The Aquarium’s website is at www.maritimeaquarium.org.


CDC: Stop using EzriCare

EzriCare Artificial Tears, an over-the-counter dry eye remedy, can cause infections leading to vision loss, hospitalization, and  even death according to a news release from the Connecticut Department of Public Health.   Between May 2022 and January 2023, 55 artificial tears users in Connecticut and 11 other states were infected, and EzriCare was the most commonly used brand.

If after using EzriCare you have eye discharge, redness, increased light sensitivity, blurry vision, or a feeling of something in your eye, you need medical attention.

“The CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) recommends that if patients were advised to use EzriCare Artificial Tears, they should stop immediately and follow up with their health care provider for an alternate product to use,” said Connecticut Department of Public Health Commissioner Manisha Juthani, MD.  “The Pseudomonas bacteria that have been found in the EzriCare product are highly resistant to antibiotics.  Infections with the bacteria can develop in the eyes, blood, lungs, and urinary tract.”

Details are at Outbreak of Extensively Drug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa Associated with Artificial Tears | HAI | CDC

Art Space

Artwork by Brian Kaspr. (Contributed)

“All art is an alternative reality” says curator Susan Hardesty, whose presentation Alternative Realities debuts this month at the Norwalk Art Space.  Fifteen regional artists’ output will be shown, including Aisha Nailah’s Afrocentric iconography, Denise Minnnerly’s small clay dwellings, Jessica Dowling’s vintage collages, and Lyman Richardson’s World City tee shirts.  According to a news release, the exhibition’s opening reception, from 6 until 8 p.m. on Thursday Feb. 16, will feature a performance by vocalist/guitarist Sarah LeMieux, whose art will also be displayed along with that of Alex Churchill, Naomi Clark, Kevin Ford, Brian Kaspr, Sophia Konstantin, Sain’t Phifer, Carlos RM, Remy Sosa, Rebecca Stern, and Lydia Viscardi.

Related Art Space events include a Village Project Community Workshop where participants will create their own clay version of “home” on Sunday March 12 at 1 p.m., and an artist talk with Hardesty and the Alternative Realities creators at 3 p.m. Sunday March 19.

Also coming up is the Art Space Teen Night with the Norwalk High School Music Honor Society on Friday Feb. 24 at 6 p.m., and a second round of portfolio reviews by Sarah King for high school students looking to enroll in art school in the fall, on Saturday April 1 starting at 10 a.m.

The outgoing Art Space exhibit, Layers Revealed, is moving to The SoNo Collection starting on Thursday March 9 at 5 p.m. when artists Jerri Graham, Melissa Newman, and Tim Holmstrom will be on hand to discuss their work.

The Norwalk Art Space, located at 455 West Ave., is open Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from  9 a.m. until  3 p.m.  There’s an onsite café, the building is handicap accessible, and admission is always free. Call them at (203) 252-2840, or email [email protected].  Website is at www.thenorwalkartspace.org.

Maritime Aquarium volunteer opportunity

If you’d enjoy escorting guests around The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, telling them about Long Island Sound’s ecosystem, enabling their use of the Aquarium’s touch tanks, and making sure their visit is memorable, there may be a spot for you as a Volunteer Gallery Ambassador this spring.  According to a news release, no prior experience is needed for this professional learning opportunity.

Weekday availability is preferred, and you must be at least 18 years old.  If you’re chosen, you’ll attend the Wednesday March 8 orientation, followed by training sessions on Tuesday March 14, Thursday March 16, Tuesday March 21, and Thursday March 23.  Ambassador benefits include Aquarium membership for two, discounts at the café, gift shop and 4D Theater, and free parking.

Applications are being accepted now through Friday March 3.

“Volunteering at The Maritime Aquarium is a fun and rewarding experience,” said Volunteer Coordinator Jessica Boyle. “Not only will Gallery Ambassadors share their passion for the environment with people of all ages and make new friends with similar interests, they will also make a difference in our community!”

More info is said to be at www.maritimeaquarium.org/volunteer.


Skip Hagerty February 5, 2023 at 9:28 am

The artwork shown for this article makes me feel very uncomfortable. I view NoN as my safe space. This violates it.

Johnny cardamone February 6, 2023 at 10:18 am

One way of preserving wetlands would to stop the building of 77 apartments at the old Wells Fargo bank on Gregory Boulevard! Another would be preserving property along Wilson Avenue as the city is changing zoning in order to build more apartments as well as Woodward Avenue near Manresa!

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