Posts Tagged 'aquarium in baltimore'

Let’s Create a Sea of Social Support for the Ocean!

On June 8, organizations and communities from around the world will celebrate the Earth’s largest life-support system, the ocean. World Oceans Day, first celebrated in 2002, was established to help educate others on how much of an impact the ocean has on our lives and what we need to do to protect it!

National Aquarium is celebrating World Oceans Day with special blog posts throughout the week, featuring important issues relating to ocean conservation, and by hosting celebrations at both our Washington, DC and Baltimore venues this weekend!

As part of the festivities, we’re asking our communities online and on-site to share a photo of their best fish face and a conservation pledge to help take care of our blue planet! Get ready to pucker up!

puckerup

Throughout the week, be sure to share your photos with us on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #puckerup! And be sure to check back with us because we’ll be sharing some of your favorite photos/pledges! Check out some of the staff here at the Aquarium showing off their best fish faces:

Here are some simply conservation pledges you can include:

  • I pledge to conserve water. It’s as easy as shortening your shower time and turning off the faucet when brushing your teeth!
  • I pledge to use less plastic. Invest in a re-usable water bottle! Keep plastic water bottles out of the ocean and a couple of dollars in your pocket!
  • I pledge to conserve energy. Reduce the amount of carbon dioxide you put into the atmosphere by riding a bike, walking or using public transportation and by turning off the lights when you leave a room!
  • I pledge to eat only sustainable seafood. Overfishing can lead to an irreparable loss in certain seafood populations. You can prevent this by avoiding catching or eating certain species that have been exploited.
  • I pledge to learn more about the ocean and its inhabitants. It is only through continued education and exploration that we can truly have a better understanding of the ocean and how we’re impacting it.

In addition to our #puckerup campaign, we’ve also started a “Why do YOU love the ocean?” community discussion on Twitter! Do you have a favorite memory/story related to the ocean or its inhabitants? Tell the world right here!

This World Oceans Day, we want to show our blue planet a SEA of social support! The pledges we collect this week will join thousands of others collected by conservation organizations around the world!

Follow the conversations around World Oceans Day on Twitter using #oceanlove and don’t forget to PUCKER UP! 

Thoughtful Thursdays: REI Grant Award for Environmental Stewardship

The Aquarium Conservation Team (ACT!) was recently granted $10,000 dollars by REI for environmental stewardship!

As part of their community outreach program, REI supports nonprofit partners that focus on both environmental conservation and promoting active volunteerism through grant funding. REI first began supporting National Aquarium’s education and conservation efforts in 2003. They have long been a great supporter of our mission to inspire conservation of the world’s aquatic treasures. Please join us in thanking them for their generous and continued support!

REI have been on-site at many of our conservation events!

REI have been on-site at many of our conservation events!

This grant will help support our conservation efforts at Ft. McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine. Located here in Baltimore, the wetlands surrounding Ft. McHenry are home to a diverse array of wildlife including hundreds of species of birds, reptiles like box turtles and diamondback terrapins, and aquatic animals like juvenile blue crabs and small fish.

Since taking over stewardship of the area in 1999, staff and volunteers with ACT! have collected nearly 600,000 pieces of debris from the area. In addition to seasonal cleanups, our field days at Ft. McHenry include trail maintenance, light construction, or planting native flowers in our rain and butterfly gardens.

A volunteer picking up debris along the shoreline at Ft. McHenry

A volunteer picking up debris along the shoreline at Ft. McHenry

REI first began supporting National Aquarium’s education and conservation efforts in 2003. They have long been a great supporter of our mission to inspire conservation of the world’s aquatic treasures. Please join us in thanking them for their generous and continued support!

Want to get involved with our Ft. McHenry initiative? Join us at our fall field day!

Date Night Giveaway!

Calling all lovebirds! Looking for a unique setting for date night?

National Aquarium is giving one couple two tickets to our upcoming date night on May 30th!

Come experience the ambience of the Aquarium after hours. Enjoy drinks while you wander leisurely through the peaceful, crowd-free exhibits, and sample cuisine from a buffet of light fare.

How to win:

1. Follow us on Twitter.

2. Retweet this tweet from now until 11pm on May 28th. The winner will be announced the morning of May 29th.

Entrants must be 21 or older to win.

So what are you waiting for?! Show some love and win two tickets for a ROEmantic night out at the Aquarium!

Re-Cap: Eastern Neck Tree Planting!

Last weekend, our Aquarium Conservation Team (ACT!) hosted a tree planting event at Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge. Eastern Neck is a 2,285-acre stopover area for migratory and wintering waterfowl at the mouth of the Chester River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

Funded through the US Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Chesapeake Bay Trust, and National Wildlife Federation, community volunteers, students and partners planted 15,000 native hardwood trees creating a 300 foot forest buffer along the river. Since 2000, we have restored more than 12 acres of wetland habitat, demonstrating the beneficial use of dredge material. The wetlands provide refuge to a variety of wildlife including terrapins, birds, snakes and small mammals.

In total, 80 students from Rock Hall Elementary, Kent County High School and Aquarium On Wheels (an after school program for Baltimore City Youth) participated alongside 18 Maryland Conservation Corps, 19 Aquarium Conservation Team and 36 community volunteers. Our planting project at Eastern Neck is part of a larger initiative to educate local school children on the importance of marsh habitat around the Chesapeake Bay using these restored wetlands as a living classroom.

US Fish and Wildlife Staff will continue to monitor trees over the next several years to assure success of the newly-planted seedlings!

Want to get out in the field and give back to our local wildlife? Join us at our of our upcoming conservation events

Cleaning Omega: Giving Old Bones a New Look

A visit to National Aquarium, Baltimore is incomplete (and nearly impossible) without sighting Omega, the finback whale skeleton that has been at the Aquarium since we opened more than 30 years ago.

Conservators carefully vacuuming the whale skeleton.

Conservators carefully vacuuming the whale skeleton.

The scaffolding and lid needed for the construction of our new Blacktip Reef exhibit have given us a unique opportunity to bring in a expert team of conservators to give Omega a proper cleaning.

Due to its location, the skeleton (which weighs approximately 5,000 pounds!) has been mostly inaccessible for adjustments and cleaning. Over the years, Aquarium staff have cleaned the skeleton by using a small vacuum and soft brushes, however, this deep-cleaning will give a team of four conservators the opportunity to carefully clean Omega and tend to any chemical and physical deterioration to the skeleton.

A bit of history on Omega…

Omega was most likely born around 1870 and developed into a 50 ton, 58 foot finback whale living in the Atlantic off the coast of New England. In the Spring of 1883, Omega was harvested by a small whaler and towed to one of the small ports on Cape Cod for rendering. A finback of Omega’s size would yield only eight barrels of oil, the rest (including the whale’s bones) was considered scrap. Henry Ward, a conservator who prepared large animal skeletons for P.T. Barnum, Buffalo Bill Cody and similar exhibitions, acquired Omega’s skeleton in 1884 and prepared the large skeleton for display.

Omega was purchased by the state of New York and remained packed away in the basement at Rochester University until 1979, when it came to the National Aquarium on permanent loan from the New York State Museum in Albany. She has been graciously hanging over our exhibits since 1981!

Stay tuned for more updates on our Omega cleaning project! 


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