Diversity of life is found in the wetland and watershed ecosystems!

Green Tree Frog

Wetlands, as their name suggests, are places where the soil retains water and the native plants prefer wet conditions. A wetland may hold water all year long or only seasonally. Wetland water may be visible, or it may be below the surface of the ground. Bogs, swamps, and marshes are all special kinds of wetlands, but a wetland may also act as a filter as water moves through them.

A watershed is all the land area that provides water to a specific stream, lake, or other body of water but also includes all of the living organisms in the area as well.


Upland River

This natural immersive exhibit features fish, birds, and turtles that can be found in and along the rivers further away from the coast. Exquisitely designed with skylights that bring in natural sunlight and offer regular rhythms of daylight hours and mimic seasonal light changes. A trickling brook flows through the habitat, emptying into an exhibit that allows guests to get a glimpse below the surface of the stream.

Featured Animals - Upland River Room

American Crow
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Crows are curious and mischievous, able to learn and problem-solve quickly but are commonly seen by farmers as pests because they flock in large numbers devastating crops.

Hellbender Salamander
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Colorfully known as snot otter, lasagna lizard, mud-devil, and Alleghany alligator, this amphibian is estimated to have been around for 150 million years!


Coast River Room WW

Water runs more slowly in the coastal and tributary rivers closer to the ocean where aquatic habitats, as well as those in the marshes and on adjacent shorelines, are home to a wide variety of wildlife. Sneak a peek below the surface of the river water and take time to observe our residents in some of the smaller habitat exhibits designed to highlight certain animals like our native snakes and frogs. The diversity of life here will amaze you.


Marsh Overlook Vol Educator

As a visit to the Coastal River room ends, guests are offered the opportunity to step outside for a bit and view the scenic overlook. Occasionally a blue herring is spotted feeding on the edge of Owls Creek, and the changes that occur in the marsh with the daily tide create a new experience each time you visit. Be sure to take a moment to learn about what we are doing with oysters in this area and be on the lookout for one of our educators ready to answer your questions.