River Alive! Opens Thanksgiving Weekend

River Alive! is a new, 4,000-square-foot exhibition at Independence Seaport Museum. Opening Thanksgiving Weekend, it will focus on the wonders and challenges of the Delaware River watershed, our place within that system, and the increasingly sophisticated science we use to understand the watershed's complexity.  

The exhibition features multiple interactive and hands-on experiences, all to help the community and visitors understand the real threats to the Delaware and its watershed. The Delaware River is essential and provides drinking water, food, and recreation to millions of people living across 13,500 square miles in the region, as well as being an economic driver through its port facilities.

River Alive! will connect the exhibition to our expanded docks and to the tens of thousands of passerby along Penn's Landing. The exhibit will pose questions such as: "What's alive in the river?"; "Why should we care about the river?"; "How do we use the river every day?"

Here are five can’t-miss features to look for in the exhibit:

  • River Continuum Wall: The River Continuum Wall is a 32-foot-long interactive media expression of the amazingly diverse life in and around the Delaware River. Trigger digitally-animated content by physically activating five highly engaging “input stations” that create reactions reflecting how the mountains, wilderness, farmland, cities, and coastal plains are all connected by the river that runs through them.
  • Nature’s Highway Theater & Soundscape: Nature’s Highway Theater & Soundscape is an interactive role-playing opportunity that invites visitors to collaborate to tell stories of the river and the animals, plants, and human industries that rely on it. The stage is set with three distinct layers of the watershed as pathways for movement above, along and within the river.
  • Watershed 3D Modeling Table: Design waterways, interrupt and direct the flow of water, and compare how permeable and non-permeable surfaces change the waterscape of the 10-inch-long watershed table with constantly flowing water.
  • Fisharium Classroom: The Fisharium is a distinctive classroom and lab space that can be used for special programs and presentations. It is themed around fish and floating wetlands as essential to freshwater habitats, and important filtering systems and nurseries for the river’s youngest members.
  • Wetland Data Visualization: The Wetland Data Visualization is an interactive multimedia station that creates a connection between the abstract concept of “water sensor data gathering” and the revitalization efforts underway throughout the watershed by scientists working in the region and beyond. The exhibit activities highlight the real threats to the health of freshwater systems and how scientists use collected data over time to strategize preservation and revitalization approaches.

Further updates about the exhibition can be found here and on social media using the hashtag #RiverAlive. 

This exhibit is made possible by The William Penn Foundation.