Posts Tagged 'national aquarium baltimore'

DC Update: Animal Transports to National Aquarium, Baltimore

national aquarium animal expert update

The most common question we get about the closure of the National Aquarium, Washington, D.C. is “Where are all of the animals going?”.

Of the 2,500 animals that currently call our DC facility home, 1,700 will be transported to our Baltimore facility. The rest will be transported to other accredited aquariums and zoos.

The key to any successful animal move is exceptional planning and great communication between all team members. In fact, we started planning these moves as soon as the closure was announced. Everyone has a role in a big move like this, from husbandry staff to veterinarians.

Today marked the first of our transport trips, which included the move of 38 animals including a giant Pacific octopus, seven plumose anemones, a peacock wolf eel, rockfish and much more! However, on any given day in the next two months, we may be transporting 20 to 400 animals.

Every animal that moves out of the D.C. facility will receive a veterinary exam to confirm it is healthy enough for transport. In some cases, this might be a visual examination (looking at the animal in its habitat). Most fish and invertebrates get visual exams. In other cases, such as for sharks or reptiles, we may do a complete “hands-on” physical examination including evaluating radiographs (x-rays) and blood tests.

But how do you actually move fish? First, the keepers slowly coax the animals into transport nets and then quickly move them into their transport carriers. Fish can be moved in large plastic containers or placed into individual bags, depending on their size and the number of individual fish moving that day. Water from their exhibits is used to fill their transport carriers. During transport, staff monitors temperature and dissolved oxygen levels to ensure the parameters stay where we want them.

Animals coming to Baltimore will make a stop at our Animal Care Center (ACC) before being placed on exhibit. Here they will go through at least a two week observational period to ensure they remain healthy and are eating well. If we have health concerns about an animal post-move, it’s very easy to provide medical care at the ACC. Because the transport is so short and the animals are already acclimated to human care, we expect them to do well at the Animal Care Center and quickly move into our main facility!

Stay tuned for more updates as we continue to transition our DC facility! 

Blog-Header-LeighClayton

Blacktip Reef Update: A Reef Comes to Life!

blacktip reef update

We’ve been working diligently on our new exhibit, Blacktip Reefand are excited to announce that you can now join us for its final stage and watch the reef come to life!

blacktip reef coral national aquarium

After months of construction, guests are now able to pass through the entire exhibit space and view the new Blue Wonders: Reefs to Rainforests experience, which includes the Aquarium’s iconic bubble tubes! They’re BACK! 

National Aquarium Bubble Tubes

Throughout Blue Wonders, guests are encouraged to explore their connection to water, starting with a stunning video wall installation created by award-winning photographer/videographer, Bob Talbot, and ending with an interactive word and photo wall.

Blue Wonders Wall National Aquarium

national aquarium interactive photo wall

Blue Wonders also introduces guests to our brand new Blacktip Reef exhibit, a 260,000 gallon habitat featuring a colorful Indo-Pacific reef landscape. Guests are 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!

blacktip reef bump out window national aquarium

Over the next several weeks, visitors will be able to watch Blacktip Reef come to life as we introduce 1,200 animals from 75 species, including our blacktip reef sharks by the end of July. During this time, our education team will also be on-hand, giving presentations on what it takes to bring an exhibit of this magnitude to Baltimore.

education presentation in Blacktip Reef National Aquarium

We’re excited to have you continue this amazing journey with us!

For real-time updates on Blacktip Reef, continue to visit our WATERblog!  

Thoughtful Thursdays: Native Garden Planting at Pier 6 Pavilion

The National Aquarium, in partnership with Rams Head and the Pier 6 Concert Pavilion, recently converted an unused area of turf on the western slope of the pavilion into a native plant garden!

Before and after

This new garden will help filter runoff and provide food and habitat for local pollinators and birds, as well as educate concert-goers on how beautiful and carefree a bay-friendly garden can be. Kyle Muellhauser, owner of Rams Head and a big supporter of the National Aquarium, approached our Conservation team and asked if we would be interested in using the space for an educational display. As we discussed ideas, we focused on something that would be attractive to visitors and also could inspire them to look at their own yards in a new way.

By planting native plants at home, you are not only providing food and habitat for wildlife, you are also decreasing the amount of fertilizer, water, and time needed to create and maintain an attractive yard. We chose native, drought-tolerant plants that would add interest to the site and would need little long-term care. Included in the list of plants were black-eyed susans, Christmas ferns, tickseed, blazing stars, American holly, joe-pye weed, and bee balm.

Two staff horticulturists took the lead on the project and designed the garden. They used similar plants and ideas from our Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Waterfront Park, a much more extensive version of a Maryland native garden. By choosing species that are native to this area and are proven to thrive in downtown Baltimore, we can be assured that this new garden will continue to educate visitors for years to come. The next time you attend a concert at the Pier 6 Concert Pavilion, don’t forget to check out the garden to see what is in bloom and get inspired to create your own bay-friendly garden. Click here to get started with ideas!

The crew!


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