There’s no denying that otters are simply adorable, and thanks to a new exhibit in Hampton Roads, visitors can celebrate the cute creatures and even contribute their photography skills to the educational display.
Beginning on July 28, guests at Norfolk’s maritime science center Nauticus can learn more about Elizabeth River otters in the exhibit, which is a partnership between Nauticus and the Elizabeth River Project. A video slideshow of otter photos taken throughout the waterway, as well as binoculars to catch a glimpse of them lounging on Nauticus’s docks, will treat museum-goers to an up close look at the mammal
Check out otters relaxing on the Nauticus docks in the science center’s video below:
The Elizabeth River Project, a local non-profit working to restore the Tidewater waterway, reports that it’s still accepting “otter spotter photos” to be part of the exhibit, and the video will be updated regularly to include new submissions. Marjorie Mayfield Jackson, Executive Director of the Project, is thrilled by the presence of otters in Norfolk. “The frequent appearance of wild otters on the Nauticus docks was almost too good to be true. It just begged for an exhibit inside celebrating the return of otters throughout the river, with returning river health,” she says.
Dustin Uhl, Senior Exhibits Manager at Nauticus, agrees. “This is a positive sign that the Elizabeth River has been recovering for the past 20 years from pollution due to the efforts of the Elizabeth River Project,” he says. “River otters thrive in clean water where they have access to a reliable food source.”
In addition to plenty of otter pictures, the exhibit will offer area residents tips on how to keep local waterways clean, and an interactive map will detail Elizabeth River Project restoration efforts.
To have your otter photo considered for the exhibit, email your picture along with your name and the location and date of the spotting to firstname.lastname@example.org.