The Independence Seaport Museum , dedicated to exploring the maritime history of the Delaware River, the Delaware Bay and tributaries, opened on Philadelphia’s waterfront in July 1995 after more than 35 years of rich history as the Philadelphia Maritime Museum.
In 1996, the museum assumed responsibility for the Cruiser OLYMPIA and Submarine BECUNA, which are both designated as National Historic Landmarks ships.
The museum fully embraces its Delaware River setting with River Alive! , a 4,000-square-foot permanent exhibit opened in November 2018 that transforms the attraction’s first floor into an area devoted to the water it overlooks.
The exhibition examines how millions of people use the Delaware River for water, food and recreation and teaches guests about what lives in and around the river, the threats to the watershed and what people can do to help preserve the river and its surroundings for future generations.
River Alive! includes an interactive River Continuum Wall illustrating how seemingly different environments (e.g. farmland and city) are connected since both use the same water source.
The space also features the Citizen Science Lab, where live, in-exhibit demonstrations take place, and a Watershed 3D Modeling Table, where visitors are encouraged to build their own waterways and learn how the river is used for development and industry and how that, in turn, impacts the flow of the water.
Kids (and their adults) can also rent kayaks or museum-built rowboats to explore the calm waters of the basin and get a close-up view of the historic ships at Paddle Penn’s Landing .
Also, guests can check out The Seaport Boat Shop , a working boat shop where maritime tradition meets creativity, hands-on experiences, and community.
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