Posts Tagged 'baltimore aquarium'



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.

ENTER NOW!

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 www.facebook.com/NationalAquarium 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!

ENTER TODAY!

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 www.aqua.org 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 www.aqua.org/win.

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! 

Animal Update – November 16

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

Long-spined sea urchins

We have two new long-spined sea urchins in our Surviving Through Adaptation exhibitSea urchins provide a safe home for species like the Banggai cardinalfish. A threatened species found only in the waters of the Banggai islands in Indonesia, the cardinalfish retreat among the spines of the sea urchin when threatened.

Linkia sea stars

We have two new sea stars in our Pacific Coral Reef exhibit. Relatives to the sea urchin, sea stars are invertebrates and echinoderms (meaning they have calcified, spiny skin).

Sea stars have an amazing ability to regenerate arms when they are severed, or an arm could potentially grow a new body in some species.

They have many tube feet extending from the ventral surface. The tube feet allow locomotion via suction created by an internal water-driven hydraulic system.

What’s your favorite species of invertebrate? Tell us in the comments section! 

Hello, my name is … CAMDEN!

Following two weeks of voting as part of our baby sloth naming contest, today we’re happy to say we have a winning name – Camden. More than 4,000 votes were cast with over 1,000 cast for the winning name, submitted as homage to the city and to Baltimore’s winning baseball season.

Last month, as part of the naming contest, we invited the public to submit names for the sloth. After reviewing and considering all 1,726 submitted entries Iris, Camden, Waylay, Izzy and Luna were selected by a panel of National Aquarium staff from various departments.

baby sloth

Camden has been excitingly trying solid foods with Mom Ivy for the last month!

During the next two weeks of public voting, we saw an overwhelming support for all of the names. Luna was the runner up with 915 votes and Izzy came in third place with almost 850 votes.

Camden is the third sloth born at National Aquarium and the first born to Ivy, one of the four sloths in the Upland Tropical Rain Forest exhibit.

In honor of Camden’s arrival, we are asking the public to continue to support the sloths and rain forest collection through donations that can be made at aqua.org/donate.

Camden will stay close to Ivy for at least the next few months, but is starting to feel comfortable moving away from Mom’s stomach to better explore its surroundings.

Our naming contest was launched in honor of International Sloth Day, which aims to bring awareness to illegal trafficking and the mistreatment of sloths in Central and South America. The AIUNA foundation, the starters of International Sloth Day, rehabilitate sloths that have been injured by power lines, hit by cars or sold illegally and release them back into the wild.

Sloths have been an ongoing part of the animal collection here at National Aquarium. The two oldest sloths currently living in the rain forest, Syd and Ivy, were acquired in May 2007 from a private captive breeder in South Florida. The other two sloths, Howie and Xeno, were born at National Aquarium in 2008 and 2010, respectively.

Linne’s two-toed sloths are commonly found in South America’s rain forests, where they spend almost their entire lives in the trees. They are nocturnal by nature, fairly active at night while spending most of the day sleeping. Adult sloths are typically the size of a small dog, approximately 24-30 inches in length and about 12–20 pounds in weight.

The Linne’s two-toed sloth is currently not threatened however other species of sloth, such as the maned three-toed sloth and pygmy three-toed sloth are endangered. The sloths at National Aquarium, Baltimore help to inform people of the plight of all sloths from threats such as habitat loss and fragmentation of forests as well as to inspire conservation, protection and welfare of these and other animals.

Thanks to Jessica Nelson, our senior herpetologist in the Rain Forest, for these amazing new photos of Ivy and Camden!

Thanks to everyone who helped us name our baby! 

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!

Iris? Camden? Luna? The final choices are in – help us name our baby sloth!

Following two weeks of accepting name suggestions as part of a naming contest for the Linne’s two-toed sloth born in Baltimore in late August, today we are announcing the following names for final consideration:

  • Iris – In honor of the beautiful flower
  • Camden – In honor of the city it was born in, Baltimore, and the winning baseball season
  • Waylay – Meaning surprise, like the baby was for Ivy
  • Izzy – Submitted by a teacher on behalf of a Frederick County Public Schools elementary class that selected the name
  • Luna – Meaning moon in Spanish

A panel of National Aquarium staff from various departments, including those from our rain forest exhibit where the baby sloth resides, reviewed and considered all 1,726 entries that were submitted for the baby sloth, the third born at National Aquarium. Although the panel was originally tasked with selecting four names, they were overwhelmed by the amount of incredible responses and decided to include one more option!

Visit www.aqua.org/slothcontest between now and November 15 to vote on your favorite name!

This baby is the newest addition to the Upland Tropical Rain Forest and the first born to Ivy, one of the four sloths in the exhibit. After votes are tallied, the winning name will be announced on the morning of November 16.

Ivy with her baby

The naming contest launched October 18 in honor of International Sloth Day, which aims to bring awareness to illegal trafficking and the mistreatment of sloths in Central and South America. The AIUNA foundation, the starters of International Sloth Day rehabilitate sloths that have been injured by power lines, hit by cars or sold illegally and release them back into the wild.

Sloths have been an ongoing part of the animal collection at National Aquarium. The two oldest sloths currently living in the rain forest, Syd and Ivy, were acquired in May 2007 from a private captive breeder in South Florida. The other two sloths, Howie and Xeno, were born at National Aquarium in 2008 and 2010, respectively.

Linne’s two-toed sloths are commonly found in South America’s rain forests, where they spend almost their entire lives in the trees. They are nocturnal by nature, fairly active at night while spending most of the day sleeping. Adult sloths are typically the size of a small dog, approximately 24-30 inches in length and about 12–20 pounds in weight.

The Linne’s two-toed sloth is currently not threatened however other species of sloth, such as the maned three-toed sloth and pygmy three-toed sloth are endangered. The sloths at National Aquarium, Baltimore help to inform people of the plight of all sloths from threats such as habitat loss and fragmentation of forests as well as to inspire conservation, protection and welfare of these and other animals.

Click here to vote on your favorite name for our baby! 


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