Meet Salt

a child looking at salt the inflatable whale's eye
Salt, the inflatable whale, makes friends wherever she goes. Photo: Anne Smrcina/NOAA

Salt, the sanctuary's life-sized inflatable whale, is complete with internal organs and an air-lock that allows entrance for visitors of all different abilities. Salt visits schools, community centers, fairs, conferences and other locations. The 43-foot long humpback whale is modeled after a real whale, the grand dame of the sanctuary, whose name is Salt. Sanctuary educators use the model to present programs on whale biology and behavior, safe boating around whales, and conservation issues.

For school groups

salt at a school in front of a group of children
Salt makes occasional migrations to schools in the sanctuary region. This time she came up for air in Arlington, Massachusetts. Photo: Anne Smrcina/NOAA

Sanctuary educators and volunteers can bring Salt for a specified time for student tours and an inside look at internal anatomy. Commentary can be adapted for any age/grade between kindergarten and high school. The sanctuary has also used the whale in conjunction with longer, multiple-day, in-school programs on ocean topics related to Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary (see the For Teachers section).

For community programs

salt on the street for a community event
The new airlock provides a safe way for participants in wheelchairs or who need assistance to enter the whale for our programs on whale biology. Photo: Anne Smrcina/NOAA

Sanctuary educators and volunteers bring the whale to libraries, local heritage fairs, the Boston Boat Show, and other public events and locations. Programming about safe boating around whales and information about sanctuary research into whale behavior are educational priorities for Salt events.

How to book a Salt visit

Please fill out this google form to request a Salt visit. The form requires details such as possible dates and times, number and age of participants, and any supplemental educational programming needs. We request that you answer all the questions and understand the space requirements of at least 50'x50' for an installation. Due to staffing limitations, we may not be able to accommodate all requests.