Posts Tagged 'baltimore aquarium'

Amazing Experiences Sweepstakes – Be the FIRST to See Blacktip Reef and Meet the Animals!

Blacktip reef shark

One lucky winner of our Amazing Experiences Sweepstakes will get a behind-the-scenes, “hard hat” tour of our new Blacktip Reef exhibit BEFORE it opens to the public this summer!


Blacktip Reef will be a vibrant, action-packed exhibit, replicating an Indo-Pacific coral reef!

In preparation for this exciting new addition to our Baltimore venue, we have been caring for new blacktip reef sharks and wobbegong sharks, in addition to our beloved 400 lb. sea turtle Calypso and zebra sharks Zeke and Zoe! Our new exhibit will also be home to a multitude of tropical fish and rays.

Napoleon wrasse

This vibrant Napoleon wrasse is just one of the many new fish in Blacktip Reef!

As part of our sweepstakes, one lucky winner (and up to three friends) will receive a “hard hat” tour of the exhibit space, as well as a behind-the-scenes tour of our Animal Care Center to meet some of the new animals!

In addition, our winner will also get to see how our salt water is made and tested and visit our coral fabrication shop, where we are currently creating pieces for Blacktip Reef.

blacktip reef coral

Behind-the-scenes testing coral

There are five great ways to be entered to win! 

Click here to find out all the details about our Amazing Experiences Sweepstakes!

Stay tuned for more features on our once-in-a-lifetime sweepstakes prizes! Winners will be announced on our Facebook page starting December 17!

Animal Update – November 30

Between our Baltimore and Washington, DC, venues, more than 17,500 animals representing 900 species call the National Aquarium home. There are constant changes, additions, and more going on behind the scenes that our guests may not notice during their visit. We want to share these fun updates with our community so we’re bringing them to you in our weekly Animal Update posts!

Check our blog every Friday to find out what’s going on… here’s what’s new this week!

animal update


We have five new lionfish in our “Hiding” exhibit!


This vibrant species may look harmless, but each point of its needle-like dorsal fin packs a powerful punch of venom to any potential predators.

Lionfish, also known as “dragon fish” or “scorpion fish” are native to the reefs of the Indo-Pacific, however, they have spread to warm oceans world-wide and are now considered to be an invasive species.

The spike in their population world-wide poses a significant threat to ecosystems in the Gulf of Mexico and South America.

Lionfish mouth

Over the years, the lionfish in the National Aquarium’s collection have come from areas in the Florida Keys in an effort to curb the threat this species is posing to native populations.

Be sure to check back every Friday to find out what’s happening!

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

National Aquarium is About to Make Santa Very Jealous…

National Aquarium Holiday Sweepstakes

Once-in-a-lifetime contest kicks off an entire season of holiday special events

Ever dreamed of working alongside a dolphin trainer or going behind-the-scenes in National Aquarium’s rain forest? What about experiencing extreme adventures in Australia or having the opportunity to name the Aquarium’s baby loggerhead sea turtle? Better yet, what about getting up close and personal with the sharks of the Blacktip Reef exhibit, set to open in summer 2013? This holiday season, National Aquarium will give away these once-in-a-lifetime Amazing Experiences.


How To Enter: 
Five Great Ways to be Automatically Entered to Win:

Five lucky winners will be selected to win one of these Amazing Experiences. One winner per day will be announced from December 17 – December 21 on and through the Aquarium’s e-newsletter, Aquamail

The Prizes: 

  • Go Behind the Scenes with the Dolphins: To get any closer, you would actually have to be an Atlantic bottlenose dolphin! The lucky winner of this amazing experience will go on a private meet and greet with the Aquarium’s dolphins, tour the dolphin area, see how National Aquarium staff prepare their food, check out the dolphin’s extensive toy collection, and learn behind the scenes secrets from the trainers. The winner will get to work with the trainer during a training session, learn how to communicate with the dolphins, and participate in enrichment and play activities!
  • Animal Planet Australia: Wild Extremes – The Extreme Experience: On this personal guided tour with the Animal Planet Australia: Wild Extremes curator, the winner and three guests will get the full behind-the-scenes tour of this incredible exhibit, up close encounters with National Aquarium’s most popular animals, participate in feedings, and see areas of Animal Planet Australia: Wild Extremes not usually seen by guests.
  • Meet the Animals of Blacktip Reef:The winner and three guests will go on a “hard-hat tour” behind the scenes of the construction of Blacktip Reef, and be among the first to meet the Aquarium’s newest additions currently being cared for before the exhibit opens in summer 2013. This amazing experience includes a tour of the Aquarium’s off-site Animal Care Center, including a look at how the Aquarium’s salt water is made and tested and a visit to the exhibit fabrication shop, where coral for Blacktip Reef is currently being made.
  • Experience the Rain Forest like Never Before: There is only one rain forest in Maryland, and it is at National Aquarium, Baltimore. One lucky winner will help care for this unique habitat side-by-side with the Upland Tropical Rain Forest staff for a morning. The winner will go behind the scenes and learn what it takes to care for the diverse and extraordinary animals and plant, prepare food and feed the exhibit’s 15 species of birds, learn about and tend to a wide range of tropical plants, including a cacao tree – where chocolate comes from, meet and feed the golden lion tamarin monkeys, and help care for poison dart frogs.
  • Name National Aquarium’s Baby Loggerhead Sea Turtle: The baby loggerhead sea turtles that are a part of the National Aquarium, Washington, DC’s loggerhead sea turtle early rehabilitation program are adorable! Through this program, sea turtle hatchlings spend time in aquariums where they can safely grow before being released back to the ocean. The winner of this amazing experience will give the newest turtle, arriving in December 2012, a head start towards success with a name to carry him (or her) into the future! The winner and up to three guests will get to have a private meet and greet with the turtle, and once on display, the turtle tank will feature a sign with the turtle’s name and the winner’s name.

Now through December 20th, enter our Amazing Experiences Sweepstakes and have a chance to win one of five once-in-a-lifetime behind-the-scenes experiences at the National Aquarium!


And the fun doesn’t stop there!

This holiday season, National Aquarium has something for everyone! On December 7, National Aquarium will celebrate World Holiday Traditions as part of the Cultural Series sponsored by Macy’s, between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. (exploring until 9:30 p.m.). In conjunction with the Fridays After Five, guests can enjoy a low admission price of $12 along with Nutcracker Ballet vignettes performances, live holiday jazz and an exhibit of nativity scenes from around the world. Children can make holiday cards to send to service men and women and there will be an appearance by the Aquarium’s mascot, Puffin, the Polar Express train conductor, and the jolly bearded man in red himself, Santa Claus!

Then, on December 15 and 16, celebrate the holidays with an exciting weekend where guests can meet Diego from Nickelodeon Jr.’s—“Go Diego Go!” Watch Polar Express in the 4D movie theater and meet the conductor! More special activities included with admission.

All season long, enjoy “The Polar Express 4D Experience.” Featured in digital 3D and brought to life with 4D multi-sensory effects, this is an immersive experience for the whole family to enjoy. Guests can add on a 4D Immersion Film to their admission ticket for $5 a person.

And it wouldn’t be an Aquarium holiday without diving Santa! Come see St. Nick and his helpful reindeer and elves take a dive in the Atlantic Coral Reef exhibit throughout the month of December.

Amazing Experiences Sweepstakes Rules
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.  Void where prohibited by law.  Open to legal US residents, except those residing in NY, RI, and FL who are 18 years of age or older. Sweepstakes begins 12:00 AM EST on 11/26/12 and ends 11:59 PM EST on 12/20/12.  To enter, visit and make a qualifying purchase. To enter for free, send a 3×5 card with name, address, and email to National Aquarium, 501 East Pratt St, Baltimore, MD 21202, Attn: Amazing Experiences Sweepstakes. Five (5) Grand Prize Experiences (GPEs) will be awarded according to prize schedule in official rules. All participants in GPEs must be at least 8 years old (and older for certain GPEs); all children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Winners are responsible for providing their own transportation to the National Aquarium, and for taxes, tips or other charges not specifically included in the GPE.  ARV of each GPE: $1,000; Total ARV of all GPEs: $5,000. Odds of winning are based on the number of eligible entries received.  For complete rules visit

From our family—scaly, finned, furry, and feathered—to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!

We have tons to be thankful for this year…From safely making it through Hurricane Sandy, to the many dedicated staff and volunteers who care for our animals and guests every day, and the millions of visitors who make connections with the aquatic world each year.

We are incredibly grateful to our members and the many donors who have helped us continue to achieve our mission to inspire conservation of the world’s aquatic treasures, and the excitement coming in 2013 with the opening of Blacktip Reef. We thank everyone who has made a personal commitment to conserve and protect our blue planet, and for the essential and critical work being done by our conservation team and the volunteers that support them.

In the spirit of the holiday, we asked some of our staff in Washington, DC and Baltimore what they are giving thanks for this year: 

Liz on-set with one of our budding TV stars!

Liz Evans, Manager of  Animal Training

“I am thankful to be able to look out my office window and see waterfowl enjoying the floating wetlands. I am also thankful to be a new homeowner and looking forward to BayScaping my new yard with native plants!”

Brian Weiner, Email, Online Media & Web Development Specialist

“This year I am thankful for my health, wealth, friends, and family. I am also very thankful for my Grandmother’s homemade stuffing. It has changed my life.”

Emma held onto a baby gator during a taping with NBC Universal

Emma Connor, Marketing Manager for National Aquarium, Washington, DC

“I’m so thankful for the opportunity to learn about and interact with animals on a regular basis. I think it’s safe to say that not many marketing gigs have that added perk! While I really marketing all of the wonderful and unique species that live at our Washington, DC, venue, it can also be a welcome change to spend some quality time with a critter after talking budget and attendance all day!”

Beth Scnheble, Aquarist

“I am extremely thankful to work with such amazing and fascinating animals that inspire me not only to work harder to provide them the best care I can, but also spread the word to our guests about their conservation and how important it is to ensure we as a society are doing what we can to preserve these incredible creatures for generations to come.”

Andrew Pulver, Animal Care Center and Marine Operations Manager

“Healthy animals and fabulous co-workers!”

Deb hanging out with one of our golden lion tamarins.

Debra Dial, Senior Aviculturist

“I am thankful to enjoy warm, flower-blooming, shorts-wearing, rain forest weather year-round! I am also grateful for this year’s bird hatchings and the knowledge that we have gained from each.”

Scott Barr, Consignment Sales Coordinator

“This year, I am thankful for the National Aquarium’s conservation paid time off!  It’s great to be part of an organization leading the conservation charge by spreading the message and actually taking

Scott used his conservation day to help rehab at Indian Head!

action.  As a lifelong Maryland resident, I know the importance of the Chesapeake Bay and the need to improve its health.  It’s rewarding to work within an organization that does more than just talk about the problems; spending a day outside planting bay grasses or repairing sand dunes is just plain fun, and the value to the bay makes it a worthwhile endeavor – getting paid while doing it is a windfall!”

John Seyjaget, Curator of Animal Planet Australia: Wild Extremes

 “We are thankful for baby ackies, star finches and gouldian  finches hatched this year!!! And of course our knob tailed geckos!”

Jenny Hamilton, Chair of Internal Conservation Committee

“I am thankful for my husband, my family, and my friends more than anything; they are my true source of joy. I am thankful for my coworkers; they are really, really good big-hearted people who relentlessly try to inspire others to care about the greater good. I am thankful for cranberry bread and changing leaves and walks with my dog.

And, for this kid:

I’m thankful there are other recycling weirdos out there. Together, we will keep our world clean! Polluters Beware!

Again, from our family—scaly, finned, furry, and feathered—to yours, Happy Thanksgiving! 

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