The National Aquarium, Washington, DC is the nation’s oldest non-commercial aquarium. Serving visitors since 1931 from the Department of Commerce building, the Washington, DC venue offers visitors a delightful 45-minute encounter with America’s Aquatic Treasures™.
Welcoming nearly 200,000 visitors annually, the historic and intimate aquarium is home to more than 250 species including sharks, eels, amphibians, and reptiles. Special exhibits highlight the animals and habitats of the National Marine Sanctuaries Program and freshwater ecosystems of the United States, as well as conservation hotspots like the Amazon.
The Aquarium was recently named the 2008 “Best Downtown Experience” by the Washington, DC, Business Improvement District.
MISSION & VISION
The National Aquarium’s mission is to inspire conservation of the world’s aquatic treasures.
The National Aquarium’s vision is to inspire visitors and partners to celebrate and nurture the world’s aquatic habitats from tropical rain forests to coral reefs; from the Chesapeake Bay to the world’s oceans.
Through pioneering science, conservation, and educational programming, the National Aquarium will confront the pressing issues facing global aquatic habitats. Our legacy to future generations is a world in which aquatic habitats are preserved and restored.
These transforming experiences reach well beyond the Aquariums’ walls. Education teams reach thousands of students each year with activities in schools and in the field; Conservation crews and volunteers restore habitats and preserve species around the Chesapeake Bay and around the world; and the National Aquarium venues continues to serve as an economic engine for tourism in the city of Baltimore and as a unique draw in downtown Washington, DC. Through all of its work the Aquarium maintains its long-time commitment to serving the communities that surround it.