One Ocean Exploration Zone

The “One Ocean Exploration Zone,” will feature interactive exhibits on marine life, sailing, ocean conservation, wind, water and weather experiences, and marine technology.

Encourage your children’s teacher(s) to schedule a field trip to the 2018 Race Village and the educational One Ocean Exploration Zone. Contact at Sail Newport:

Participate in this exciting Exhibit inside the Race Village:

Highlights from the 2015 Exploration Zone Included: 

1. URI / University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System – “Oceanographic Research, People, and Platforms”

UNOLS helps to coordinate oceanographic research worldwide. The exhibit showcased the research equipment, vessels, and people that make this exciting research and exploration possible. Images and movies of different research vessels, including ships from the early days of UNOLS to the two newest vessels under construction, and the efforts being made to make the vessels operate more sustainably. Engaging activities and games will help to educate the public about these important assets.

2. RI Sea Grant/ Coastal Resources Center – “Coastal Flooding, Sea Level Rise and What You Can Do”

3. URIs Graduate School of Oceanography – “Climate Change - Eyes on the Storm: Hurricanes and Society”

This exhibit looked at recent hurricane disasters, exemplifying the need for education and awareness about these large tropical cyclones. The exhibit will engage visitors to learn more about hurricanes and how they are forecasted (and the research happening at URI that feeds into these forecasts.) Visitors will also learn how climate change is impacting tropical systems, and why it is critical to be prepared for the upcoming hurricane season.

4. URI Graduate School of Oceanography - “Life in the Bay - What is in a Drop of Water?”

The exhibit introduced visitors to the many beautiful and fascinating ocean plants and animals which are too small to notice with the naked eye –the plankton. One table had  5 microscopes: 2 hands-on microscopes for looking at the very small plant plankton (phytoplankton), 2 hands-on microscopes for looking at the slightly bigger animal plankton (zooplankton) and one microscope connected to a large computer display. The plankton was caught each morning right in the water outside Fort Adams.  Nets were used to catch the plankton.  A second table had plankton-related activities, which varied over the week and included activities like building and testing model plankton, drawing plankton, learning about monitoring the plankton in the bay, and learning about conserving plankton.

5. URI Graduate School of Oceanography (URIGSO) - “Carbon, Oxygen and Our Breathing Ocean”

The ocean is responsible for more than 50% of oxygen production on the planet. This exhibit demonstrated how aquatic plants produce oxygen in the presence of sunlight, and carbon dioxide in when the sun goes down. The deep ocean is also a huge reservoir for carbon dioxide, absorbing 70 times more CO2 than the atmosphere. The exhibit demonstrated how seawater can hold the CO2 and the circulation between the oceans and the atmosphere. Understanding the Greenhouse effect: using terraria and aquaria with aquatic plants and circulating water the exhibit which demonstrated this phenomenon. There were periodic "respiration contests" where contestants breathed into a carbon dioxide analyzer to see who could make the concentration go highest. Prizes were awarded.

6. URI Graduate School of Oceanography Inner Space Center (URIGSO ISC) – “Ocean Exploration with the Inner Space Center”

URIGSO IPC presented compelling videos of Inner Space Center underwater marine research projects.

7. NOAA NMFS Narragansett Lab – “Nautical Charts”

This exhibit presented nautical charts – road maps on the water – and how to understand them.  The charts included those of RI waters and Narragansett Bay. Information on how NOAA creates these charts, and the history of hydrographic surveying was offered. 

8. NOAA Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries – “Ship Strikes and Right Whales”

The exhibit addressed their work to reduce unintended ship strikes and vessel collisions with critically endangered right whales and other whale species. Rocky the 20’ Right Whale was also on display.

9. NOAA Office for Coastal Management – “Resilient Coastal Communities”

NOAA’s Sea Level Rise Viewer enabled the public to select a geography and use the slider bar to simulate various sea level rise scenarios (from one to six feet above the average highest tides) and the corresponding areas that would be impacted by flooding. Visitors also clicked the camera icons for pictures that depicted how local landmarks could be affected, making the visualization more meaningful. Additional tabs provided information about marsh impacts, nuisance flood frequency, and social and economic data.

10. Community Sailing – “This is Sailing!”

Visitors of all ages enjoyed Gutter boat racing, knot tying, and teachings about sailing and how to get involved in individual community sailing centers across the U.S.

11. US Sailing Reach Program – “Simple Machines”

This popular activity was a fun scavenger hunt.

12. IYRS School of Technology and Trades - “Process and Possibilities”

The school demonstrated how they are working with carbon fiber and other composite boat building materials and processes, and how composites are being used in a variety of non-marine applications as well.

13. SCA Americas – “Plant a Seedling”

Educational video presentations displayed the role and importance of forests in the environment.  Students planed seedlings and Saplings were donated to the City of Newport for planting.

14. SCA Americas – “Making Paper”

Participants learned how to make paper from recycled fiber board using a blender, some screens and a hot plate.

15. SCA Americas – “Water Filtration”

SCA showed how water is filtered by taking the water used from the papermaking activities and filtering it through different mediums.

16. Newport Renewables – “Solar Energy”

The power of solar energy on land and at sea promoted the renewable energy source. 

17. E2SOL LLC – “Solar Micro-Grid Facility for Self Resilient Renewable Power”

A micro-grid demonstrated how solar power can be harnessed to provide an alternative source of power.  Visitors learned how it all works, the benefits, and its growing application across a broad spectrum of industries.

18. Sailors for the Sea – “Ocean Acidification”

Every year one-third of carbon dioxide emissions are absorbed by the ocean, rapidly changing its chemistry. It is called ocean acidification. Interactive videos demonstrated what ocean acidification is, how it has impacted coral reefs and what can be done to stop it. Students crawled through a coral reef display,  viewed a detailed coral reef diorama and even tried on SCUBA gear.

19. Clean Ocean Access - “Habitat Conservation, Water Conservation, and Marine Debris Solutions”

This local and active group presented results of shoreline clean-ups conducted in the weeks prior to the Stopover. Educational materials provided a stimulus for discussing and understanding the effects of marine debris and storm runoff on the environment.

20. 5 Gyres Institute – “Plastic Pollution Solutions and Citizen Science Engagement Opportunities”

21. Newport Stopover Sustainability Committee – “Sustainability Efforts at the Race Village”
This was one of the cleanest events in Rhode Island history. Efforts were centered on reducing waste, recycling, composting and seeking sustainable methods for visitors and for the Race Village.  

22. Tall Ship Oliver Hazard Perry – “Rhode Island’s official Sailing Education Vessel”

The SSV Oliver Hazard Perry docked alongside the pier at the Race Village, and was open to the public for tours. Additional activities included a “signal flag conversation game,"  a demonstration on “how square riggers sail," showing how to“use charts to navigate,"  a “saltiest sailor contest” and “sea shanty sing along."