Posts Tagged 'new year'

Looking Forward to 2014!

Before we get too far into this exciting new year, we’d like to first take a moment to thank our amazing online community for their support and love in 2013!

national aquarium thanks you

Together, we were able to accomplish some pretty amazing things this past year and we’re excited to see just what 2014 has in store for us.

Here’s what some our experts are looking forward to in the New Year:

Jenn Dittmar, Manager of National Aquarium Animal Rescue

I’m looking forward to continuing to rehab our current cold-stun patients and coordinating their releases later this year.

national aquarium kemps ridley turtle

I’m also looking forward to hosting the annual dolphin count and coordinating exciting upgrades to our seal rehabilitation facility!

Laura Bankey, Director of Conservation

I’m really looking forward to a busy field season in 2014.  We have projects scheduled from New York to Virginia and I always look forward to winter ending so we can start restoring habitats again.

Masonville Cove

This year, I’m also excited about the opportunity to host the National Wildlife Federation and our other state affiliate partners for NWF’s Annual Meeting.  Conservation partners from across the country will be joining us in Baltimore in May and I can’t wait to show off our wonderful Aquarium and our local field projects!

Jack Cover, General Curator

In 2014, I’m looking forward to finding new ways to use our exhibits and animals to raise awareness of the diversity of life that can be found in a healthy beach ecosystem.

longsnout seahorse

Every shell found on a beach has a story to tell and I hope to share many of these stories with you all in the New Year!

Sarah Elfreth, Government Affairs

I’m thankful for the Aquarium community’s support in helping Maryland become the first state on the East Coast to ban the possession, sale, and trade of shark fins.

maryland shark fin bill

I’m excited to work on other policy issues aimed at protecting aquatic life in 2014!

Holly Bourbon, Curator of Fishes

My team will be focused on so many exciting things in the New Year. Chief among them are our brand-new exhibit, Blacktip Reef, and the settling of animals from our closed Washington, DC venue into their new homes here in Baltimore.

national aquarium loggerhead turtle

One animal from DC, a loggerhead named Brownie, is particularly exciting for us. Brownie is part of the Loggerhead Head Start program, which gives sea turtle hatchlings a head start at a great life . In 2014, I hope to see him reach a releasable size!

Leigh Clayton, Director of Animal Health

2014 is already shaping up to be a very busy and exciting year for me.

In just a few short weeks, I’m be in Orlando, Florida lecturing at the North American Veterinary Conference, one of the largest vet conferences in the US. My lectures will mostly focus on reptiles, covering everything from insectivore nutrition to oral disease.

I’m looking forward to seeing a paper written by one of our prior interns, Dr. Kathy Tuxbur, published in the Diseases of Aquatic Organisms journal. A lot of Kathy’s work with us as an intern focused on horseshoe crabs and the carapace lesions and branchitis that can sometimes present in the species.

national aquarium baby sloth scout

Lastly, I’m looking forward to seeing our newest baby sloth, Scout, continue to grow and mature!

Heather Doggett, Director of Visitor Programs and Staff Training

I am excited to spend more time with my family outdoors, enjoying nature and doing some new citizen science activities with my four-year-old.

local wildlife

I’m hoping to take more hikes in 2014 and record what we find!

What are you looking forward to this year? Tell us in the comments section! 

Thoughtful Thursday: Conservation Resolutions for 2014!

national aquarium conservation expert update

As this year winds down, many of us at National Aquarium are looking forward into the new year and thinking about the many ways we can make our lives and the lives of our families and communities healthier and happier!

Here are some of the resolutions we’re starting 2014 off with:

  1.  Ditch the bottled water: According to the International Bottled Water Association, more than 9.67 billion gallons of bottled water  were sold in the United States in 2012. Unnecessary resources are consumed in the packaging, shipping, and disposal of this commodity. In early 2014, the Aquarium will be installing water fountains throughout our buildings that are designed to fill reusable water bottles. Concurrently, we will be eliminating the sale of bottled water on our campus. The next time you visit the Aquarium, bring your own water bottle and check it out!
  2. Eat local: We all know that buying food produced and harvested locally helps support our communities and significantly decreases the resources required to put food on our table. To help further support this effort, we are working with our catering partners to increase the amount of locally sourced options available in our cafes and through our catered events. In 2014, we will also be promoting local seafood through our sustainable seafood dinner series, Fresh Thoughts! There are many local produce and seafood options available in the area. Take a look and make a commitment to serve local food at your table in 2014.
  3. Recycle water: As an Aquarium, we obviously care deeply about water (quantity and quality). We understand the connection between healthy water and healthy communities and we take our commitment to clean water very seriously – both inside our building and out. Internally we are developing new processes to clean our exhibit water – allowing us to recycle greater amounts of water throughout our buildings. By doing our part to clean the water before it filters to the harbor, we are helping to improve the water quality for the human and animal communities that depend on it.
  4. Plant a tree (or a wetland, or a sand dune): For more than a decade, the National Aquarium has helped restore more than 190 acres of native habitat in the region. More than 13,000 volunteers have joined us in providing habitat for local or migrating aquatic, terrestrial and avian species. Together we have planted more than 1.7 million native trees, grasses and shrubs. In 2014, we are committed to significantly adding to that number. Join us. Invite your friends and family to volunteer at one of our events and together we can make a difference.

We know there is more to be done, but by committing to these steps in 2014, we hope to build on our commitment to improving the health of our blue planet. Care to join us?

Laura Bankey national aquarium conservation expert


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