Posts Tagged 'baltimore aquarium'

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.

Volunteer Spotlight: Aquarium Conservation Team Welcomes Its Newest Member!

The Aquarium Conservation Team (ACT!) is pleased to welcome its newest volunteer, Steph Pully! She will be volunteering with us for one year as a part of the Chesapeake Conservation Corps. The Corps, now welcoming its third class, was founded by the Chesapeake Bay Trust as a program to promote the health of the bay through environmental education, community engagement in conservation and energy efficiency. The trust’s 26 volunteers are working with various environmentally-focused host organizations throughout the state of Maryland.

Steph Pully doing restoration work in the field

Throughout the year, members undergo a series of trainings on leadership, professional development, environmental education and watershed restoration.  These trainings are aimed at developing skill sets that will help them in their future careers, as well as teach the members more about the Chesapeake Bay and what we can do to protect it.

Steph, originally from Frederick, Maryland, graduated in May from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.  She earned her B.S. degree in Environmental Science.  Steph also spent the summers in Ocean City, Maryland working for the Maryland Coastal Bays Program where she gained valuable, hands-on experience in watershed restoration.

The Chesapeake Conservation Corps allows Steph to combine her love for both restoration events in the field and environmental education programming.  In her short time as a member, she has already connected with her fellow corps members and looks forward to working with them throughout the year. She also appreciates the numerous networking opportunities that the corps provides for young environmentalists.

As a volunteer with ACT!, Steph hopes to gain valuable experience and contribute to the rebuild and preservation of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.  In the near future, she is looking forward to her first trip with the ACT! to Virginia Beach for a sand dune restoration project this September.  She cannot wait to spend her days out in the field and to get involved with the community volunteers!

Sign up for any one of our conservation events and come meet our newest member!

Happy Birthday, Foster!

The National Aquarium is celebrating a birthday today: Foster, one of our youngest Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, born at the Aquarium on September 9, 2007, is 5 years old today!

Guests can recognize Foster by his light coloring and big eyes.

About Foster

Name meaning: Foster was given his name due to his very unique upbringing. Because Jade was a first-time mother, experienced moms Shiloh and Chesapeake helped her raise him. All three females nursed Foster when he was a baby.

Gender: Male
Weight: 270 pounds

Foster and his best friend Beau love to play with bubbles!

Family Tree: Son of Jade (dam) and Sebastian (sire)
How to Recognize: Guests can recognize Foster by his light coloring. He also has big, beautiful eyes and a slight underbite, much like his mom Jade.

Trainer’s Note: Even though he’s one of our youngest dolphins, Foster has a big appetite. He eats about 21 pounds of fish per day!

If you can’t make it to the National Aquarium, Baltimore, today, leave your birthday wishes for Foster in the comments section below!

Blacktip Reef Update: Animal Transports

We cannot wait for our new exhibit, Blacktip Reef, to open in summer of 2013! This coral-filled exhibit, replicating an Indo-Pacific ocean habitat, will feature 15 exciting species including blacktip reef sharks, reticulated whiptail rays, and ornate wobbegong sharks. It will also be the new home for some of our most beloved animals, including our 400-pound green sea turtle Calypso, and zebra sharks Zeke and Zoe. Guests will be able to experience this lively reef from many vantage points, including a new floor-to-ceiling pop-out viewing window that allows you to virtually step inside the exhibit.

It’s a long journey to opening day. Between animal transports, exhibit demolition, new construction, and habitat fabrication, as well as the acquisition of new animals, we’ll have a lot to update you on leading up to next summer. As we continue to build the future home of Blacktip Reef, stay tuned to learn about new changes here on our WATERblog!

The past few weeks have been extremely busy for teams all over the Aquarium! Our Animal Care staff worked diligently to move and relocate all the animals that had lived in the Wings in the Water exhibit. Some of these animals moved to new homes within the Aquarium, and some joined new families at Georgia Aquarium and Ripley’s Aquarium.

National Aquarium staff worked speedily to move animals. Photo courtesy of John Soule

Three of our guest favorites, Calypso, Zeke, and Zoe, made one of the last moves from the exhibit this week.

National Aquarium divers eased Calypso into a large lift with tasty fish treats. Photo courtesy of John Soule

But they haven’t traveled far! The temporary home for these animals is in one of our behind-the-scenes animal care areas, where they will be enjoying a little “vacation” with some of their other fish friends.

It takes a big team to move a big turtle like Calypso!

Now that the animals have been removed and the water has been drained, some of the bigger construction components have begun. You can see some of our team building scaffolding to prepare for even more.

Watch this video to learn more about our recent changes: 

Stay tuned for more Blacktip Reef updates! 

MARP Update – Caring for 2 Rescued Sea Turtles

The National Aquarium’s Marine Animal Rescue Program (MARP) team has two new patients in the Animal Care Center (ACC). The sea turtles, named London and Olympian, were originally found floating off the coast of New Jersey, and were rescued by our stranding partner,  New Jersey Marine Mammal Stranding Center (NJMMSC).

London, a Kemp’s ridley sea turtle, stranded on July 25 outside of a power plant, suffering from wounds associated with an impingement ( much like tendinitis). Our team is treating London for a bruised shell and possible pneumonia. London has been eagerly munching on shrimp and squid, and has become more active over the last two weeks.

London was injured at a power plant in New Jersey and is now being rehabilitated by our staff. Photo courtesy of Pat Venturino

Olympian, a green sea turtle, was spotted floating off the New Jersey coast on August 13. After being brought in, NJMMSC realized that Olympian was suffering from a severe case of edema, an abnormal accumulation of fluid beneath the skin that causes swelling. The edema initially decreased during the first 24 hours in rehabilitation, but Olympian continues to have a buoyancy problem. Our staff is working hard to diagnose the reason behind the buoyancy problem, but Olympian seems to be slowly responding to treatment. Olympian is eating more every day and is enjoying a diet of shrimp, squid, romaine lettuce, green peppers, and Brussels sprouts!

Olympian is eating well and loves to munch on greens like lettuce. Photo courtesy of Pat Venturino

Both London and Olympian are being closely monitored at the Aquarium’s off-site Animal Care Center (ACC). The ACC is an off-site facility where animals clearing quarantine are held before entering an exhibit, and where wild animals in need of rehabilitation stay. Earlier this summer, MARP and Aquarium staff worked together to get our new sea turtle rehabilitation center up and running. Several precautions were adjusted or added during the recent renovation so that all animals remain safe and healthy during their stay at our facility.

Please remember, if you are out on the water, keep your eye out for marine wildlife in our area. It is around this time that we see different animals migrating through our local waters, as Maryland waters are a thoroughfare for several ocean species. Animals that the MARP team usually sees in this region include sea turtles, whales, dolphins and seals. While sea turtles will generally stay in the water, they do surface for breaths of air, so be careful if out on a boat. Boat strikes are, unfortunately, a common cause of marine animal injury. Click here to find out more ways you can help protect marine animals!

Stay tuned for more updates about London and Olympian as they continue to rehabilitate with our MARP team! 

Animal Update – August 31

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!

We’re experiencing quite the baby boom! 

As we first announced earlier this week, a new spiny-tailed monitor was born in the backup area of our Animal Plant Australia: Wild Extremes exhibit. But this is just one of many new family additions…

Spiny-tailed monitor hatchling

We also have turquoise tanager chicks flying around our Upland Tropical Rain Forest exhibit. Our tanager flock continues to grow! We first announced the arrival of two chicks last month and we are so excited to have more of these adorable babies. You can see the majority of our family of tanagers flying around our Rain Forest now!

Turquoise tanager chick

And don’t forget our new baby screaming piha chick! Also born in our Upland Tropical Rain Forest, this baby is the first to be born in captivity in North America.

Blacktip Reef animals are on the move! 

Blacktip Reef renovations are coming soon and we’ve already started preparations with animal moves. Some of the animals you’re used to seeing in our Wings in the Water exhibit have been moved to their new homes within the Aquarium: Two large roughtail rays are now in Open Ocean exhibit and a cownose ray, two southern rays and a hogfish have all been moved to our Atlantic Coral Reef exhibit. Additionally, over the last two weeks, our staff has worked closely with Georgia Aquarium staff to transport roughtail rays, cownose rays and barracudas to their new home at the Georgia Aquarium.

National Aquarium divers helps to collect animals from Wings in the Water
Photo courtesy of John Soule

Staff and volunteers safely moving a cownose ray from the Wings in the Water exhibit
Photo courtesy of John Soule

We still have a few more animals to move. Next Monday, we’ll be moving our zebra sharks Zeke and Zoe as well as our green sea turtle Calypso to our off-site Animal Care Center, where they will stay until they join their new friends in Blacktip Reef next summer!

Watch this video to learn more about the new animals that will be coming to Blacktip Reef!

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

We Have ANOTHER Spiny-Tailed Monitor Baby!

On Monday, a spiny-tail monitor baby hatched in our Animal Planet Australia: Wild Extremes exhibit backup area! We are so excited to have another baby spiny-tailed monitor join the one that hatched on July 6!

These babies will stay in our backup area in the care of our staff. Although our guests won’t be able to see the young, you can see their parents in the front.

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