National Aquarium in Baltimore

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Welcome back to National Parks and other public lands with T! 

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We visited the National Aquarium in 2013 and were greeted in the lobby by Margaret the Macaw. The aquarium recently put out a PSA on social distancing starring Margaret. She is apparently entertaining herself by strolling along the windows in the big empty building.

The National Aquarium is in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor on piers 3 and 4. It was built in the late 1970s and coexisted for a time with the hundred year old National Aquarium in DC. That aquarium closed in 2013 when the Herbert Hoover building was renovated and all of its animals were transferred to Baltimore.

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The mission of the aquarium is conservation. It runs programs to clean up the Chesapeake Bay Wetlands and the Marine Animal Rescue Program which rescues, rehabilitates and releases injured marine mammals and sea turtles.

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The things we liked best about the National Aquarium were

  • Friendly, helpful, informative staff
  • Calypso the 500 lb, three finned turtle who seemed to be thriving in the Black tip reef exhibit. Sadly, Calypso passed away in February 2020. You can view the 24 hour live webcam for the reef here.
  • The Australia exhibit…a staff member entertained the kids by demonstrating how the Archer fish ‘spit’ to knock insects into the water.
  • We also enjoyed the jellyfish exhibit, shark helix and watching the puffin feeding. The jellys are also live-streamed here.

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Location: 501 East Pratt Street, Baltimore, Maryland

Designation: National Aquarium

Date established/designated: August 8, 1981

Date of my visit: July 2013

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Calypso shadowing a diver in the Black Tip Reef.
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