Posts Tagged 'washington dc'



Thoughtful Thursdays: I Will if You Will

Earth Hour

On Saturday, March 31, between 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. (local time) Earth Hour will once again cascade across the globe.

Sponsored by World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Earth Hour asks individuals, businesses, and government leaders to turn out all non-essential lighting for one hour as a movement to demand action on climate change.

The National Aquarium is working with staff at both venues to turn off all unnecessary lighting and other electronic devices during that time.

We will stand in the dark alongside other international cities and iconic landmarks, from the Las Vegas Strip to the Eiffel Tower to the Great Pyramids of Giza.

Here’s a quick video clip of the Aquarium going dark for Earth Hour last year:

This year WWF is asking people, What are you willing to do to save the planet? People all over the world, including lots of celebrities, are really getting into the spirit by making commitments saying what they’ll do if other people will take action to protect the planet. The commitments range from inspiring to borderline-dangerous to hilarious!

Check out all the “I will if you will” dares on Earth Hour’s YouTube channel and accept someone’s challenge or submit your own!

And then make plans to embrace your dark side on Saturday night—light some candles and play a board game with your family or enjoy a romantic candlelit dinner.

This one hour of darkness may result in a small reduction of energy consumption, but it 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!

Learn more about Earth Hour at earthhour.org.

Animal Updates – March 23

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

Mouth Almighty Babies
The mouth almighty in the Animal Planet Australia: Wild Extremes exhibit had babies… which is especially interesting because the male broods the babies in his mouth! During this time, the male doesn’t eat. How’s that for some paternal sacrifice? You can read more about this fish on our new website.

Mouth Almighty

Napoleon Wrasse
A Napoleon wrasse has arrived at the Aquarium’s offsite Animal Care Center, where we hold future residents of the Aquarium until they are ready to be introduced to their new habitat. Napoleon wrasses grow to be the largest of the wrasse family. They can grow up to 6 feet in length! The one we received is about 4 feet now and is lovely shades of blues, greens, and blacks.

Cane Toad
A cane toad is now on exhibit in the Amphibians Gallery.

Native to Texas through Central Amazon and Peru, the cane toad has been introduced to a number of different places, making it a highly invasive species. Introduced to Australia and Puerto Rico to control agricultural pests, these toads instead significantly impacted other native fauna without controlling the intended target species of sugarcane beetles.

They reproduce quickly and live a long time, and secrete toxic fluid through glands on their backs, which can make potential predators extremely sick.

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

Visit the Newly Redesigned Aqua.org!

We are thrilled to share a very special announcement with you: we’ve launched the redesigned Aqua.org! The new website is now home for both National Aquarium, Baltimore, MD, and Washington, D.C., provides more intuitive navigation, easy-to-access ticketing, tons of beautiful photography, event calendars, and up-to-the-minute news and intriguing facts about our animals!

Please take a look! We have added some really great features we think our community will enjoy! Take some time to explore the site (and believe us, there’s a lot to explore!). Starting with the homepage, we’ve made the site more beautiful with amazing images of our animals as well as interesting facts!

Our new Animals page gives you the opportunity to explore more of our animal collection in new and different ways. You can search by venue, color, geography, exhibit, and more!

Then, once you get to a specific animal page, you can explore even further! Each animal has various photos, facts, and sometimes videos. Plus many have a note from the animal’s Aquarium caretaker!

We also want to highlight the new Trip Planner functionality–you can plan your trip from almost EVERY PAGE! When you click the “Add to Trip Planner” button throughout the website, your choices will be compiled into a full itinerary that is easy to read and organize. Plus, it’s easy to print or e-mail in preparation for your visit!

There are TONS of other new features! Please visit and roam around. We hope you’ll enjoy it!

Please take a look and let us know what you think! AQUA.ORG 

National Aquarium Featured on FOX 5

This past week, FOX 5 featured our Reptile and Amphibian Day! Check out reporter Annie Yu as she joins us at our Washington, DC, location for some fun animal interactions!

Although the event was held this past Saturday, February 25, you can come see these interesting reptiles and amphibians (plus sharks!) every day!

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A salute to Jimmy & Teddy

This Presidents’ Day, join us in celebrating our two heads of state that are now residing in the Gray’s Reef exhibit at our Washington, DC, venue. Two adorable baby loggerhead sea turtles, named Jimmy and Teddy, came to their new temporary home in the nation’s capital from the North Carolina Aquarium, which is leading an effort to help rebuild sea turtle populations.

Jimmy and Teddy

The two turtles are named after presidents Jimmy Carter and Teddy Roosevelt. Roosevelt was well known for his conservation role while president; he greatly expanded the National Parks System. The National Aquarium’s freshwater gallery represents many of our National Parks today. Similarly, President Jimmy Carter designated Gray’s Reef, in the southeastern United States, as a National Marine Sanctuary. A Gray’s Reef exhibit is also represented at the Aquarium, and is the current home for the loggerheads.

Sea turtles have a challenging life. Weighing just 20 grams at birth, they face many natural predators both on the sandy beaches where they are hatched and in the oceans where they will dwell when they get older. Loggerheads were once actively hunted for their eggs and meat, and still are in some places of the world. Because of their low survival rate, they have been classified as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.

In order to help save these magnificent animals from extinction, we participate in the North Carolina Aquarium’s program that gives baby sea turtles a better chance at survival. Through this program, sea turtle hatchlings spend time in aquariums where they can safely grow. Once they are given a clean bill of health and an extra boost of nutrition, they are released back to the ocean.

The turtles were hatched on September 1 in North Carolina, and were brought to the Aquarium in mid-November. They have already tripled their weight since they arrived! The turtles now weigh more than 350 grams each. It is estimated that they will weigh around 1,500 grams (a little over 3 pounds) by fall when they will be returned to North Carolina for release into the ocean. Eventually, these turtles could weigh up to 200 pounds!

Under the Aquarium’s care, the turtles are measured monthly and will undergo exams with X-rays and blood work at 6 months old and 1 year old. The staff is also monitoring their calcium levels to ensure healthy shell growth. They are pole fed by the staff, who have noticed that the turtles love to steal food from the fish. They are very quick and love diving to the bottom to pick up leftovers that the fish don’t eat.

Next time you are visiting Washington, DC, stop in to see our adorable heads of state, and salute two presidents who contributed so much to the conservation of some of the most precious habitats our great country has to offer!


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