Rivers to the Sea – Making the Connections to Inspire Conservation

by Connie Cherba

Dubuque’s National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium (NMRM&A) is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2023 with a full slate of new exhibits and activities. The renovated 2010 Rivers to the Sea exhibit is scheduled to open late this winter, allowing visitors to explore five distinct marine habitats that showcase stories and inhabitants of near shore waters in North America along with an exciting view of the Marshall Islands.

“Rivers to the Sea helps us draw the connection of how our river system is a part of a larger system, flowing into one big ocean,” explained Emily Adlfinger, Marketing & Communications Manager at the River Museum. “We will also have a Marshallese component with the exhibit, which will highlight the Marshallese community here in Dubuque. An outrigger canoe was crafted specifically for the River Museum and that will be on display as well as beautiful mural artwork.”

“The Rivers to the Sea Gallery was always full of good stories, but they didn’t tie together real well,” said Andy Allison, NMRM&A Vice President of Living Collections and Education. “We wanted a better, engaging story to help tell our conservation messages. We also had three aquariums that were in need of repair so we needed to upgrade those. This was a chance to look at the entire space and see if we can do a better job telling the story.”

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