Posts Tagged 'Baltimore'



Our Sustainable Seafood Series is BACK!

fresh thoughts sustainable seafood dining series

We are thrilled to announce that we will be welcoming chefs from some of the area’s best restaurants for the 2013 Fresh Thoughts Sustainable Seafood Dining Series! This is the fifth year we’re hosting the series celebrating sustainable seafood, recently named one of the National Restaurant Association’s Top 10 Trends for 2013.

sustainable seafood oysters

Just because it is good for you, doesn’t mean it can’t taste good!

Chefs from Laurrapin Grille, The Oregon Grille and Bagby’s Fleet Street Kitchen will headline the 2013 series in Baltimore, themed around sustainable seafood choices that are available in the Mid-Atlantic region. The Fresh Thoughts dining series is not only a great way for people to enjoy an intimate dining experience with a fantastic local chef, but also a unique opportunity to learn about the importance of sustainability!

National Aquarium Fresh Thoughts

Each dinner features a cocktail reception of regional wines and cooking demonstration led by the guest chef, followed by a fine dining experience that includes a four-course menu created solely for the event, all while overlooking the Baltimore Harbor. The event concludes with a stroll through the Aquarium.

looking out at the inner Harbor

Tickets for each dinner are priced at $79 for National Aquarium members and $99 for non-members, or all three dinners can be purchased as a package with a discount of $10 per dinner. Fresh Thoughts Sustainable Seafood Dining Series dinners take place at 6:30 p.m. at National Aquarium, Baltimore located at 501 E. Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD 21202. The dates of the dinners are February 5, March 19 and May 22, 2013.

Visit aqua.org or call 410-576-3869 to reserve your seat today!

National Aquarium Fresh Thoughts

Laurrapin Grille, located in historic downtown Havre de Grace in Harford County, serves seasonally inspired American cuisine with a commitment to using local and sustainable food. Dishes prepared by Chef Bruce Clarke reflect the true flavor of the food and honor the bounty of Maryland the Chesapeake Bay region. Chef Clarke will host a dinner on February 5, 2013.
Click here to buy tickets to Fresh Thoughts with Laurrapin Grille on February 5.

The Oregon Grille is the area’s premiere steak house serving the finest prime dry-aged steaks, large lobsters and seafood. The restaurant has been recognized by Baltimore magazine as one of the area’s “Best Restaurants” and has received accolades from Zagat, Wine Spectator, and OpenTable. The Oregon Grille will host a dinner on March 19, 2013.
Click here to buy tickets to Fresh Thoughts with The Oregon Grille on March 19.

Chef Chris Becker of Fleet Street Kitchen returns to the Fresh Thoughts series after a great showing in 2012. Locally owned and operated, Fleet Street Kitchen features contemporary American cuisine and has received praises from critics at The Baltimore Sun and Baltimore Magazine. The menu is an ever-changing collection of seasonally inspired selections with a strong emphasis on locally sourced, ethically raised, sustainable ingredients. Chef Becker will host a dinner on May 21, 2013.
Click here to buy tickets for Fresh Thoughts with Fleet Street Kitchen on May 21.

Click here to buy tickets for all three Fresh Thoughts events. 

National Aquarium is proud to partner with Classic Catering for the Fresh Thoughts Sustainable Seafood Dining Series.

Amazing Experiences Sweepstakes: Congratulations to Our Second Winner!

amazing rain forest winner

After weeks of excitement and thousands of entries, we’re happy to announce the winners of our Amazing Experiences Sweepstakes!

All week we’ll be announcing the winners for each of our amazing prizes right here on our WATERblog, on our Facebook page and through our email, Aquamail.

Today’s winner is David B. from Baltimore, Maryland! CONGRATULATIONS DAVID! You are the lucky winner of our Rain Forest prize! There is only one rain forest in Maryland, and it is at National Aquarium, Baltimore. As part of your prize, you have the opportunity to help care for this unique habitat side-by-side with our Upland Tropical Rain Forest staff! You will go behind-the-scenes and learn what it takes to care for the diverse and extraordinary ecosystem, prepare food and feed the exhibit’s 15 beautiful species of birds, and tend to a wide range of tropical plants, including a cacao tree  – where chocolate comes from! You will also meet and feed our pair of golden lion tamarin monkeys and help care for our poison dart frogs.

scarlet ibis

Explore the rain forest with our staff and discovery beautiful creatures like the scarlet ibis!

Congratulations again, David. We’re incredibly thankful for your support!

Didn’t win today? No worries! There are still three AMAZING prizes to win…

aquarium sweepstakes

December 19: 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.

December 20: Go to the Extremes in Australia – 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.

December 21: 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!

Still haven’t entered for your chance to win? Well, not to worry. We will still be accepting entries until midnight on December 20th.

ENTER NOW!

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

Stay tuned this week to see if YOU are selected as one of our lucky winners!!!

Happy Birthday Sugar!

The National Aquarium is celebrating a very special birthday today: Sugar, our umbrella cockatoo, is turning 15!

umbrella cockatoo

Sugar’s favorite enrichment activity is tearing up shredded newspaper. He also loves sharpening his beak on wood blocks!

umbrella cockatoo

Don’t forget Sugar’s favorite treats – peanuts and coconut!

umbrella cockatoo

Yum yum yum!

When Sugar gets excited (often by the sight of peanuts or coconut!) he raises his crest of feathers to communicate that to our staff and guests!

umbrella cockatoo

Sugar is one the animals you can see at our daily Animal Encounters and you can often see him in the Overlook!

animal encounter

Sugar LOVES to play in and with tubes!

umbrella cockatoo

Cardboard, PVC pipe, you name it – Basically, he loves anything he can look through!

umbrella cockatoo

Anyone in there?

Stop by National Aquarium, Baltimore today and you might see Sugar during one of our Animal Encounters! 

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! 

Sustainable Seafood Q&A with the Rusty Scupper’s Mark Miranda

In honor of our upcoming sustainable seafood Fresh Thoughts dinner in Baltimore, we sat down with featured chef, Mark Miranda of the Rusty Scupper, to get the scoop on how the sustainable dining movement is influencing the dining scene in Baltimore. 

Mark Miranda

Mark Miranda

A chef for more than 30 years, Markl Miranda has served the Rusty Scupper’s renowned Maryland crab cakes and seafood to some of the Monument City’s most monumental appetites. In doing so, Miranda has also shared his passion for preserving the ecology and economy of our community by upholding his restaurant’s commitment to serving only the best quality, sustainable seafood. 

National Aquarium: What’s your favorite sustainable seafood ingredient to cook? 

Mark Miranda: My favorite sustainable seafood to cook with is the Stripped Bass, better known as Rockfish. Rockfish is a local favorite that is very versatile.  It can be prepared in a variety of ways.  The Rockfish population is thriving, not only in our area but also throughout the world.

NA: How is sustainable seafood playing a role in Baltimore’s dining scene?

MM:  As people become more aware and knowledgeable about sustainable seafood, they are paying more attention to restaurants and establishments that use sustainable seafood ingredients.  Customers want to be sure they are supporting environmentally friendly practices so many are choosing restaurants that offer dishes prepared with sustainable seafood. Using sustainable seafood not only helps to build our business, it also allows us to give back to the environment.

NA: What’s the biggest challenge when it comes to cooking sustainably? 

MM: There really are no challenges in cooking with sustainable seafood.  However, if you say you are using sustainable seafood, you must be sure the items are sustainable and stick to using them.  Sometimes products can be misleading, so you must pay close attention to the sources of the ingredients to make sure the product is truly sustainable.

NA: In 2013, what is one sustainable seafood ingredient you hope to see more of in restaurants (including your own)? 

MM: I really enjoy preparing dishes that incorporate the Basa fish.  It is similar to the catfish and growing in popularity.  The Basa fish can be prepared in a variety of ways—from grilling and sautéing to frying and blackened.  When choosing to prepare Basa, it is important that you look for the fish to be U.S. farm-raised as it is farmed in a more ecologically responsible manner than those imported from Asia.

Click here to learn more about our Fresh Thoughts sustainable seafood dining series in both Washington, DC and Baltimore.

Animal Update – November 2

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

Margined Madtoms

We have two margined madtom catfish Noturus insignis in our Maryland: Mountains to the Sea exhibit. These fish were transferred from their home at National Aquarium, Washington DC to their new home here in Baltimore!

This species of catfish is commonly found in rocky riffles and small rivers throughout the Atlantic slope, from southern Quebec to Georgia.

While this species is more common in the United States, it is considered threatened in Canada.

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

A Blue View: WIDECAST

A Blue View is a weekly perspective on the life aquatic, hosted by National Aquarium CEO John Racanelli.

From the smallest plants and animals invisible to the human eye to entire ecosystems, every living thing depends on and is intricately linked by water.

Tune in to 88.1 WYPR every Tuesday at 5:45 p.m. as John brings to the surface important issues and fascinating discoveries making waves in the world today.

October 23, 2012: WIDECAST 

Listen to John discuss the important work that WIDECAST does to save leatherback sea turtles! 

The National Aquarium has had a long partnership with turtle conservation network WIDECAST, particularly in Costa Rica, where the leatherback sea turtle comes ashore to nest. This species has been listed as endangered since 1970. Very little is known about the turtles’ migratory behavior, population genetics or dynamics, inherent diseases, or mortality rates.

WIDECAST gathers research through rescue operations and satellite tracking to develop programs to help save this amazing species. As part of our partnership, Aquarium staff conducts training programs for local volunteers on veterinary care and stranded animal rehabilitation. We hope that through awareness and support from the international community, the WIDECAST network can continue to grow!


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