Ocean Bound: Embark on a journey through your watershed



Exhibit Descriptions

Download the Exhibit Descriptions in Portable Document Format (PDF)


Cluster 1: Using Science to Understand Watersheds

Ocean Bound entry kiosk

A large logo and education goals introduce visitors to the exhibition.

What's a Watershed?

Move a "rain cloud" over 3-D terrain to see how water cascades down mountains, into valleys, collects in rivers, and flows to the ocean. How many separate watersheds can you find in the model?

Where Does Your Water Go?

Do you know where your water flows in North America? Choose a button to see if you were correct; then enjoy a beautiful 4' x 5' backlit image of the continent showing watershed boundaries, lakes, rivers, and drainage basins.

Flow or Settle?

Flip 5 clear tubes containing water with different materials (plastics, oil, sand, gravel, and trash). Some materials float and are easily transported downstream. Lift the panels to learn about how substances travel to sea.

Underwater Adventure!

"Pilot" a life-size "submersible" from mountain stream to ocean, discovering aquatic life and habitats along the way. Spin the dial for eyepopping HD underwater footage: frame-by-frame, slow motion, or at super-fast speed! Where are you in the watershed? Check the animated map on the monitor.

Wildlife Close-up

Be a biologist! Choose "bubbles" on a touchscreen for spectacular video & fun facts about 65 aquatic life forms encountered on the journey from mountain stream to ocean.

Cluster 2: Recognizing Threats to Watersheds

Tied to the Sea

Enjoy HD videos of marine life (sea turtles, dolphins, horseshoe crabs, fish, and coral reefs) and learn the importance of a healthy ocean. Lift the panels to learn more about how we depend on our ocean and its resources for medicine, jobs, oxygen, and much more.

Storm Drain Downers

Colored balls cascade down tracks and tubes in this interactive ball machine, mimicking how water and pollutants flow down stormwater drains and into waterways. Turn knobs to divert pollutants (colored balls) and let clean water (blue balls) travel to the "ocean."

Guide Water Safely to Sea

Guide a water drop (blue ball) through a maze on its journey from land to ocean. Beware of hazards: Mined Metals! Oil! Fertilizers! Animal Poop!

Balancing Act

Stack color-coded bags, representing various types of water usage, on a large interactive scale to show your water consumption. How much freshwater do you use? Can you balance it with what’s needed in nature?

Cluster 3: Finding Solutions to Watershed Problems

Science Saves the Day

River otters had vanished from much of their habitat; after waterways were cleaned up, otters made a comeback! See them eating and playing in HD video; then learn how biologists captured, examined and reintroduced otters to their original habitat in this success story of watershed recovery!

Dead Zones

Find out how ocean dead zones are created by fertilizer runoff that makes oxygen levels too low to sustain most aquatic life. Then discover how dead zones are reversible.

Chemical Diagnosis

Find the single chemical pollutant in a million "water molecules" (beads) as you rotate a giant "drop of water". Just one part per million can seriously impact water health!

Giant Ocean Garbage Patches

Read and interact with flip panels to learn about the gigantic North Atlantic and North Pacific garbage patches created by trash that has washed downstream and into the ocean. Garbage in the ocean harms marine animals and birds--find out what you can do to help!

Cluster 4: Implementing Change

Riverside Clubhouse

Duck into a Riverside Clubhouse! Explore the Watershed Warriors exhibit, then curl up and enjoy illustrated books about watersheds, aquatic animals, and conservation.

Watershed Warriors

Interact with this kid-friendly touchscreen to discover which behaviors are bad for watersheds and ocean health, in both rural and city settings. How can YOU be a good Watershed Warrior?

Stop! Think!

Connect human actions with environmental impacts by observing four large HD video monitors. Videos show bad habits that lead to polluted environments, and good habits that sustain healthy environments. Includes benches.