Posts Tagged 'DC aquarium'



A Message of Thanks to Service Members and Their Families

Every day, we give thanks to members of the military that help to protect our Aquarium family and our precious community. On this day, it is especially poignant to recognize those that have and continue to risk their lives for our safety and freedom.

Our Aquariums, located in the nation’s capital and in Baltimore, give us the unique opportunity to interact with a diverse group of military families, including those of our own Veteran staff members. In the last year, we’ve been so honored to take part in the Maryland Center for Veteran Education and Training program, employing service members and helping families get back on their feet.

We would like to extend an invite to all service members and their families to come visit us any day in Washington, DC and Baltimore with special admission rates:

In Washington: Military personnel members can display their identification to receive a discounted admission of $8.95

In Baltimore: So that we can offer a deeper discount, the National Aquarium provides discounted tickets to military bases in the region through our consignment ticket program. If you are in the service, we encourage you to check with your local MWR for discounted tickets for you and your family.

In recognition of Veterans Day, this Sunday our Washington, DC venue will be presenting any service members visiting a small token of our gratitude.

From all of us here at National Aquarium, thank you for all that you do!

Animal Update – October 26

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

Juvenile Nautilus 

Several new small chambered nautilus have been added to the nautilus tank in our Sensing gallery. The larger, older nautilus was removed and placed in backup while the new ones undergo a quarantine period.

chambered nautilus

Chambered nautilus

Did you know the nautilus is considered to be a “living fossil”? This species has undergone little change in more than 400 million years! The nautilus dominated the ancient seas before the rise of fishes, and appeared about 265 million years before the first dinosaurs. In prehistoric times, there were about 10,000 different species of the nautilus, but only a few species survived to the present.

Moon Jellies!

Ten beautiful new moon jellies have been added to our Jellies gallery at National Aquarium, Washington DC.

moon jellies

These jellies were actually born at our Baltimore location! The moon jellies are our most prolific species, meaning they produce the most offspring. We are able to control culturing life-cycle stages through manual temperature manipulation at our jellies lab. Petri dishes covered in polyps (sedentary stage) of this species spend three weeks in a refrigerator.

juvenile jelly

Juvenile moon jelly

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

Happy 40th Birthday, NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuaries!

For 40 years, the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Marine Sanctuary system has preserved some of the most treasured and endangered resources in our oceans. This underwater network of national parks, first established in 1972 – exactly 100 years after America’s first national park was created, protects more than 18,000 square miles of ocean waters and habitats!

national marine sanctuaries

Congratulations & happy birthday to all our friends at NOAA!

Visit the National Marine Sanctuaries all in one place!
Our Washington, DC venue highlights all thirteen sanctuaries as well as marine national monument as part of a partnership with NOAA to help spread awareness and inspire conservation of these amazing ecosystems. You can explore the following sanctuaries during your visit:

  • Florida Keys NMS - This sanctuary is a complex marine ecosystem surrounding the Florida Keys archipelago, an island chain known worldwide for its extensive offshore coral reef. The waters surrounding most of the 1,700 islands that make up the Florida Keys have been designated a sanctuary since 1990. The Florida Keys marine environment is the foundation for the commercial fishing and tourism-based economies that are vital to southern Florida.
Florida Keys

Florida Keys Gallery

  • USS Monitor NMS – located off the coast of Newport News, Virginia, this wreck of a Civil War-era ship was the first designated marine sanctuary!
  • Flower Garden Banks NMS - Flower Garden is located about 110 miles off the coast of Texas and Louisiana. It harbors the northernmost coral reefs in the continental United States and serves as a regional reservoir of shallow-water Caribbean reef fishes and invertebrates.
  • Gray’s Reef NMS - Gray’s Reef is located 17 miles off Sapelo Island, Georgia. It is one of the largest near-shore sandstone reefs in the southeastern United States. The rocky platform, some 60–70 feet below the Atlantic Ocean’s surface, is wreathed in a carpet of attached organisms. This flourishing ecosystem provides not only vertical relief, but also a solid base for the abundant invertebrates to attach to and grow upon.
Loggerhead turtle

A loggerhead turtle in our Gray’s Reef gallery

  • Cordell Bank NMS - Cordell Bank is located approximately 52 miles northwest of the Golden Gate Bridge at the edge of the continental shelf. Upwelling of nutrient-rich ocean waters and the bank’s topography create one of the most biologically productive areas on the West Coast. The site is a lush feeding ground for many marine mammals and seabirds.
  • Olympic Coast NMS – along the Olympic Peninsula coastline of the Pacific Northwest, sits this protected continental shelf and several submarine canyons. This upwell zone is a home to marine mammals such as orcas and seabirds. Throughout the sanctuary, kelp keeps pockets of tidal communities teeming with fish. In addition to these ecological resources, this area also preserves over 200 shipwrecks.
  • Hawaiian Island Humpback Whale NMS – In the shallow waters surrounding the main Hawaiian Islands, this sanctuary represents one of the world’s most important humpback whale habitats.
  • Stellwagen Bank NMS – located at the mouth of Massachusetts Bay, this sanctuary was the first in New England. It was first designated to protect endangered whales from the shifting of shipping lanes in busy commercial waters. Since its establishment, striking of these whales has been reduced by 81 percent, according to NOAA.
Stellwagen Bank

Toby, our blue lobster, in the Stellwagen Bank gallery

  • Fagatele Bay NMS - Fagatele is located on Tutuila, the largest island of American Samoa, and is the only true tropical coral reef in the National Marine Sanctuary Program. This complex ecosystem, with its exceptionally high level of biological productivity, is the smallest and most remote of all sanctuaries.
Fagetele Bay

Fagatele Bay gallery

  • Gulf of the Farallones NMS – near San Francisco, this sanctuary was critical to the creation of Beach Watch, one of the first citizen-science monitoring projects within NOAA. This volunteer program helps to protect a lush cold water coral reef, abundant with many threatened and endangered species.
  • Monterey Bay NMS – this rocky, rugged area off the coast of Southern California acts as a home or migration corridor for 26 species of marine mammals, close to 100 species of seabirds, close to 400 species of fish and invertebrates and four species of sea turtles. A mixture of habitats including open ocean, rocky shores, sandy beaches and lush kelp forests.
  • Channel Islands NMSThe Channel Islands are located 25 miles off the coast of Santa Barbara, California. The waters that swirl around the five islands within the sanctuary combine warm and cool currents to create an exceptional breeding ground for many species of plants and animals.
Leopard sharks

Leopard sharks in our Channel Islands gallery

  • Thunder Bay NMS – off the eastern coast of Michigan, this sanctuary protects a collection of shipwrecks in Lake Huron. Not only are these developed ecosystems an important research tool, but this area has become a major tourist destination and economic stimulant in the area – further spreading awareness of how important it is to protect marine wildlife.
  • Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument – located in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, this is the single largest conservation area in the US and a UNESCO World Heritage site. The monument encompasses close to 140,000 square miles of Pacific Ocean – an area larger than all the country’s national parks combined.

We are so happy to  share these small glimpses into such a diverse and beautiful network of environments. Thanks to NOAA and the National Marine Sanctuaries Act for allowing us to continue to enjoy and protect America’s underwater treasures for many years to come!

Animal Update – October 19

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!

Baby Froglets!

We’ve seen a few tricolor poison dart froglets hopping around in our Hidden Life Gallery.

poison dart frog

Can you spot the froglet?

The tricolor, or phantasmal, poison dart frog (Epipedobates tricolor) is a small red or brown poison dart frog with blue stripes that is found in the rain forests of the Andean slopes of Ecuador.

poison dart frog

Baby tricolor poison dart frog

We haven’t confirmed how many babies there are just yet but we’ll keep you updated! Stop by to see the young froglets in the Hidden Life exhibit, closest to the rotating door headed toward our Atlantic Coral Reef exhibit!

Seastars and ratfish return to DC

One spotted ratfish and four leather sea stars were added back to our Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries exhibit this week.

spotted ratfish

Spotted Ratfish

This exhibits was upgraded over the summer and is now fitted with an acrylic window, there should be no more condensation during warm weather!

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

Our Fresh Thoughts Series Is Back!

The National Aquarium’s Fresh Thoughts sustainable seafood dining series is back this fall, with events at both our Baltimore and Washington, DC, venues. We hope you will join us for one or both of these exceptional four-course prix fixe menus with wine pairings, all in the unique setting of the Aquarium at night!

Fresh Thoughts, Washington, DC

September 19, 6:30 – 9:00pm
Featuring: Sea Bream
Click here to buy tickets!

Chef Xavier

Chef Xavier Deshayes

Join us in Washington, DC, on Wednesday, September 19, when Chef Xavier Deshayes will serve up a four-course meal featuring sea bream, a delicious white fish. Hear from experts about this fish and learn about the completely sustainable system at the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology (IMET), which is providing the sea bream for this dinner.

Learn More and View the Menu

About Guest Chef Xavier Deshayes
A native of Beziers, France, Xavier Deshayes is the executive chef at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, which hosts some of the city’s most notable meetings and special events and is often recognized for its distinguished catering services. Chef Deshayes is on the forefront of developing sustainable and environmentally conscious menus by thoroughly researching his product sources.

Fresh Thoughts at the National Aquarium, Washington, DC, is sponsored by the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center.

Click here to buy tickets for DC Fresh Thoughts!

Fresh Thoughts, Baltimore, MD

September 25, 6:30 – 9:00pm
Featuring: Lobster
Click here to buy tickets!

Chefs Becker and Semidey

Chefs Chris Becker and Omar Semidey

You’ve asked for it, and it’s finally coming to Fresh Thoughts—lobster! Join us in Baltimore on Tuesday, September 25, when guest chefs Chris Becker and Omar Semidey of Fleet Street Kitchen present their menu featuring the succulent shellfish, along with fluke and rainbow snapper.

Learn More and View the Menu

About the Guest Chefs From Fleet Street Kitchen
A Baltimore native, graduate of the Baltimore Culinary Institute, and veteran of several of the city’s most highly regarded restaurants, Chef Chris Becker maintains deep relationships with local farmers, foragers, and fishermen. He was named one of the top “Chefs to Watch” by Baltimore Magazine.

Born and raised in New York City, Chef Omar Semidey developed a passion for food and cooking that led him to pursue a career in the culinary arts. Omar attended the French Culinary Institute in New York City. After working with Chef Becker at The Wine Market, he rejoins him at Fleet Street Kitchen, with the goal of developing and executing an exciting, high-quality, and seasonally inspired menu.

Click here to buy tickets for Baltimore Fresh Thoughts!

We hope you’ll join us!

The concept of our Fresh Thoughts sustainable seafood dining series is to offer unique dining experiences themed around a sustainable seafood choice. Guests will enjoy a cocktail reception and educational demonstrations and/or discussions followed by a three-course seated dinner paired with perfectly matched wine in the tranquil atmosphere of the Aquarium after-hours.


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