Posts Tagged 'aquarium in baltimore'



Thoughtful Thursdays: Earth Hour

national aquarium earth hour

On Saturday March 23, 2013, the National Aquarium will once again be participating in Earth Hour. Sponsored by World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Earth Hour asks individuals, businesses, government leaders and others to turn out all non-essential lighting for one hour as a movement to demand action on climate change. We will stand in the dark alongside hundreds of international cities and iconic landmarks ranging from the Las Vegas strip to St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City to the Great Pyramids of Giza. Since 2007 when 2.2 million people took part in the first Earth Hour in Sydney, Australia, Earth Hour has massively expanded to over 7,000 cities and towns in 152 countries and territories with hundreds of millions of participants across seven continents.

We depend on our planet for so much – food, fuel, fresh air and water- and our actions play a key role in on our effects on the world. Earth Hour is an opportunity to show our commitment to help protect our resources and our planet. In 2013, Earth Hour is not merely an annual event, but is a continuous movement driving real actions to change the world we live in.

On Saturday, March 23, between 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. (local time) Earth Hour will once again cascade across the globe. The National Aquarium (at both venues) will be turning off all unnecessary lighting and other electronic devices during that time.

Join us as we cast a vote for the environment!
1. Join the movement.
• Pledge to switch off your lights at home and show your support by registering your commitment.
• Encourage friends and family to get involved!
• Plan an Earth Hour party at home! Block parties, candlelight vigils and candlelight dinners are just a few things you can do to celebrate as a community.

2. Go Beyond the Hour.
• Extend your actions beyond an hour! This weekend, pledge to spend at least one whole day with a minimal impact on the environment. Unplug at home any non-essential appliances before leaving in the morning, and lower the thermostat for time you’re not in the house. Take public transit, or carpool with coworkers for a day. Pack a lunch in reusable dishware. Aim to use only reusable, recyclable or compostable materials throughout the day. Cook a dinner using only local and organic food (or don’t cook at all, eat foods that don’t have to be heated). Unplug with your family at night by playing a board game or relaxing with a book.
• Tell us what you did to make a difference. Share your efforts with us in the comments section!

This one hour of darkness may result in a small reduction of energy consumption, but more importantly paints a powerful picture of behavioral change needed to combat climate change. Join us as we stand among hundreds of millions of people to call for action on climate change!

Thoughtful Thursdays: Why (and Where) We Compost

Last month, National Aquarium staff visited the Chesapeake Compost Works (CCW) facility located right here in Baltimore. The trip had two main objectives: to learn how composting plants work and to get a better sense of where we were sending tons (yes, TONS) of organic waste from our Baltimore venue every week.

The compost piles at the CCW

The compost piles at the CCW. The steam seen here is heat being released from the bacterial”breakdown” of the organic waste.

As a conservation organization, we’re always looking for ways to minimize the amount of waste we’re putting into the environment.

Three years ago, the Aquarium implemented a composting program in the Harbor Market Kitchen area. The program was later expanded to include visitor areas, waste from the rain forest exhibit and all staff and administrative office areas!

There are labeled compost bins (like this one in our harbor market kitchen) throughout the Aquarium's offices!

There are labeled compost bins (like this one in our harbor market kitchen) throughout the Aquarium!

We’ve been working with the CCW facility for just a few months (they opened in November). Located in Curtis Bay, CCW has 55,000 square feet of space to process local waste. They are currently accepting 60-80 tons of waste a week and converting it all into nutrient-rich soil for local farmers and the community!

In the short time we’ve been composting, the Aquarium has saved close to 40 tons of organic waste from landfills!

Interested in composting your waste? Here’s how to do it!

 

  1. Learn what kind or organic waste CAN be composted! A full list is available here
  2. Start collecting waste materials!
  3. Work with a local organization, like CCW, to have your waste collected. Baltimore and Washington, DC (and most developed areas) have “compost cabs” that will even come to you for collection!
  4. Visit a local compost facility! Not only will you learn more about the process, but you can also purchase nutrient-rich soil for gardening or urban farming projects!

 

$10 Off for Those in Ravens’ Attire on Tuesday!

Ravens celebration at the Aquarium

Giving Baltimoreans another reason to celebrate, we are inviting Ravens fans to enjoy $10 off general admission tickets when you show your support for the 2013 Super Bowl champions tomorrow, Tuesday, February 5, 2013 at our Baltimore venue.

National Aquarium is conveniently located close to the Ravens parade route through downtown Baltimore. All those wearing Ravens or purple attire will receive the discount to our Baltimore venue when purchasing tickets.

ravens victory parade route

The $10 off discount applies to tickets purchased on-site only and is valid for general admission tickets for all ages. Discount cannot be combined with any other offer. Offer valid Tuesday, February 5, 2013 only. National Aquarium is open on Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

In addition, National Aquarium offers discounted parking at the Lockwood Place Garage at 124 Market Place, Baltimore, Maryland 21202. For more information on the discount, visit aqua.org/visit/baltimore/promotions.

We hope to see you tomorrow! GO RAVENS!

Scientists Gather in Baltimore for International Sea Turtle Symposium

Sea turtles have been an integral part of ecosystems for more than 60 million years and, this week, National Aquarium will be co-hosting the 33rd Annual Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation to make sure they stay that way.

More than 1,000 scientists and conservationists from 75 countries are expected to attend the symposium presented by the International Sea Turtle Society.

The theme for this year’s symposium is “Connections” and will include discussions around sea turtle biology, research and conservation, marine turtle ecological interactions, coastal communities, collaborative research, community-based conservation and more. Outreach and educational activities planned for the symposium will highlight the presence of sea turtles in the Chesapeake Bay and the myriad of environmental issues impacting the watershed.

Being located on the Chesapeake Bay, the largest watershed on the east coast and an important foraging area for some sea turtle species, National Aquarium is deeply invested in the cause. The need for sea turtle conservation action is urgent. It is going to take many people from many countries across the world to save these species.

Chesapeake Bay

The Chesapeake Bay is the largest watershed on the east coast and home to more than 300 species of aquatic animal.

This year has been an extraordinarily busy sea turtle stranding season with a record of more than 200 reported strandings so far from along the east coast. As part of the Northeast Stranding Network, National Aquarium is responsible for responding to live sea turtle and marine mammal strandings along the nearly 4,300 miles of coastline in Maryland, including the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic coasts.

Your support has been critical to the continued work of our MARP team to rescue and rehabilitate turtles, including this loggerhead hatchling!

Early in the stranding season, National Aquarium rescued this loggerhead hatchling.

Although Maryland has not seen many local turtle strandings, National Aquarium’s Marine Animal Rescue Program is working closely with other institutions like New England Aquarium to take on many of the turtle patients. With successful releases earlier this month, the animal rescue team continues to work with these other institutions to provide rehabilitation.

Olympian making his way back into the open ocean!

Every patient release is cause for celebration! As was the case with Olympian, a green sea turtle rehabilitated at the Aquarium last year.

All sea turtles occurring in U.S. waters are listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and are under the joint jurisdiction of NOAA Fisheries and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Major threats to sea turtles in the U.S. include, but are not limited to: cold-stunning; destruction and alteration of nesting and foraging habitats; incidental capture in commercial and recreational fisheries; entanglement in marine debris; and vessel strikes.

The Symposium will kick off with a Welcome Social on Monday, February 4 at National Aquarium and will run through Friday, February 8 at the Marriott Waterfront. The exhibit/vendor area will be open to the public on specific days.  In addition to on-site sessions and presentations, this year the event will also go off-site into the local Baltimore community, providing teacher and educator workshops, live streaming of special sessions to local schools and universities as well as a sea turtle art contest in Baltimore City schools. On Tuesday, students from four Baltimore City schools and one Baltimore County school will have the opportunity learn more about the importance of turtles at special Q&A sessions with sea turtle experts. Click here to download a full event program.

National Aquarium staff and experts will be present at many of the symposium’s events this week and would love to see you there! For more information on registration, click here.

Can’t join us in person? You can still participate online by submitting your questions to us in the comments section! If you could ask a sea turtle expert something, what would you want to know?

Celebrate Giving Tuesday by Helping Us Achieve Our Conservation Mission!

This year, nonprofit organizations from across the country came together to establish a day for giving back, Giving Tuesday.

With the holiday season becoming more and more associated with deal days like “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday”, #GivingTuesday presents the opportunity for nonprofits worldwide to encourage charitable giving, volunteerism and conscious consumerism. It’s also the perfect day to donate to your favorite nonprofit! We have a day dedicated to giving thanks and two for getting deals…why not have one day to help support our favorite nonprofit organizations?

That’s how the first #GivingTuesday, today Nov. 27, got its start.

So today, we hope you’ll consider helping us achieve our mission to inspire conservation of the world’s aquatic treasures by supporting our Marine Animal Rescue team in any of the following ways:

Make a donation to our Marine Animal Rescue Program  (MARP)

Every year, thousands of sea turtles, dolphins, whales, seals and manatees become sick or injured, often due to human-related reasons. Our MARP team is responsible for responding to live sea turtle and marine mammal strandings along the nearly 7,000 miles of coastline in Maryland, including the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic coasts. MARP depends on the generosity of volunteers to operate and care for these animals, plus medical equipment, medication, food and other expenses associated with caring for these animals really adds up quickly. 

loggerhead turtle hatchling

Rescued loggerhead turtle

YOU can help us help animals in need!

Where does your donation go? 

By donating just $25 to MARP, you will also be entered into our Amazing Experiences Sweepstakes

More comfortable donating much-need items? You can still help MARP by gifting some of the things on their wishlist this year!

  • All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV)
  • DOT helmets (assorted sizes, new or gently used)
  • UHF radio repeater
  • USB flash drives
  • Fun holiday window decals or water animal decals
  • New or gently used kitchen knives

Your contribution makes it possible to continue our important work and will help give threatened and endangered species a second chance at life!

Are you participating in #givingTuesday? If so, tell us how in the comments and on Twitter


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