MAGAZINE OF THE NATIONAL AQUARIUM • WINTER 2013
CITIES OF THE SEA AND WHY CORAL REEFS NEED OUR HELP PAGE 8
YEAR IN REVIEW 13 / NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARIES 20 / THE SCIENCE OF SALTWATER 22
Make the holidays amazing.
BLACKTIP REEF—NOW OPEN Come face-to-face with exhilarating sharks in the new Blacktip Reef, a journey into a kaleidoscope of light, color and aquatic life. There’s no better gift than an amazing experience! This holiday season, the National Aquarium offers you and your loved ones the chance to experience more than 17,000 incredible animals. Give gift tickets, become a member or visit with friends and family to make your holidays amazing!
Amazing things happen.™
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
FE ATU RE S
I N E V ERY IS S UE
F EATUR ES 18
EXH IBIT BREAK D OWN: BEH IND T H E G L ASS OF PACIFIC CORAL R E E F There’s more than meets the eye in this incredible exhibit.
BEH IND T H E SCENE S: SALT WAT ER SCIENC E How does the Aquarium get our water? Find out now.
P H OT O FINISH An eye-catching look at the mantis shrimp!
G IFT G UIDE The holidays are around the corner! Gifts for the ocean-lover in your life.
U N D E R WAT E R CI TY Go inside the sea’s most diverse ecosystem and learn how a reef came to life in Baltimore.
F ROM T H E CEO Aquarium CEO John Racanelli on what we’ve accomplished and where we’re going.
2 0 1 2 A N N UA L R E PO RT Amazing things happen at the National Aquarium. Take a look at 2012 in review.
ANIM AL UP DAT ES Meet the newest members of the Aquarium family.
A S A FE S PA C E National Marine Sanctuaries are protected habitats. What you need to know about these essential underwater national parks.
AQUARIUM NEW S 100 animals released! Plus, meet our first-ever Chief Conservation Officer. C ONSERVAT ION Do you know what you’re eating? Get the scoop on seafood fraud and find out what it means for you.
E DUCAT ION In the (outdoor) classroom with our AquaPartners program.
MEM BER NEW S The latest on the closing of our aquarium in Washington, DC.
ON T HE COVER
National Aquarium’s honeycomb whipray moves through our newest exhibit, Blacktip Reef.
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FROM THE CEO
MAGAZINE OF THE NATIONAL AQUARIUM
AS THE HOLIDAYS APPROACH, you are no doubt receiving many
heartfelt letters requesting contributions from charitable organizations. There are many deserving and important groups out there, and I hope the National Aquarium is among those you consider most worthy of your support. In the last 32 years, the National Aquarium has boosted civic pride, spurred the region’s economy, educated millions of children and families about our marine counterparts and ensured a sustainable future for many sea creatures. As a private nonprofit organization, we depend on the generosity of those who understand our mission and support our work. Only with your help can we develop exhibits and programs that amaze, inspire and connect with our guests in powerful ways—and spark the desire to protect and conserve our oceanic “life support system.” Our newest exhibit, Blacktip Reef, is a notable first step in a multi-year endeavor to refresh and revitalize the National Aquarium. I hope you’ve had the opportunity to We invite you to visit this beautiful—and meaningful—addition. be a part of our Coral reefs are among the most threatened natural wonders in the world, and by re-creating an Indobright future. Pacific reef right here in Baltimore, we want to enlighten the public about the challenges and opportunities these ecosystems face today (see page 8). You’ll also see proof of this sea change throughout this issue of Watermarks. You’ll be introduced to Eric Schwaab, our first-ever Chief Conservation Officer (see page 4). A highlight of some of the amazing things we accomplished in 2012 starts on page 13. Read about the recent closure of our Washington, DC, venue and the opportunity for future growth in the nation’s capital on page 7. There is so much we can do, but only with your support. We invite you to be a part of our bright future by joining us in our continuing efforts to create world-class exhibits, delight our guests and drive conservation action. Please contact us anytime at 410-576-8678 or email@example.com. As active and tireless advocates for the myriad wonders that make up our aquatic world—whether they be animals, habitats or even human communities—our National Aquarium team remains relentlessly focused on our mission to inspire conservation of the world’s aquatic treasures.
A copy of the National Aquarium’s financial statement is available upon written request. Documents filed in accordance with the Maryland Charitable Organizations Solicitation Act may be obtained from the Maryland Secretary of State. © 2013 National Aquarium CFC # 11251 MCC # 4099 CCC # 4099 EDITOR AMANDA FORR WRITERS AMANDA FORR, SAMANTHA MCCOY, ROBIN O’NEIL DESIGNERS ASHLEY STEARNS, NATALIE CASTALDO PHOTOGRAPHER GEORGE GRALL COPY EDITORS ASHLEY GOETZ CHRIS M. JUNIOR NATIONAL AQUARIUM INSTITUTE EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBERS MR. MARC BUNTING MS. COLLEEN DILENSCHNEIDER MRS. JANE W. I. DROPPA MR. MICHAEL DUNMYER MR. ANDREW L. GOOD (SECRETARY) MR. RANDALL M. GRIFFIN MR. FRANK A. GUNTHER, JR. (LIFE DIRECTOR) MR. MOHANNAD F. JISHI (TREASURER) MR. KYLE MUEHLHAUSER MR. JOSEPH NIGRO MR. DONALD S. PETTIT MR. J. SCOTT PLANK MR. JOHN C. RACANELLI (CEO) MS. DIANA RAMSAY THE HONORABLE STEPHANIE RAWLINGS-BLAKE MR. K. LEE RILEY, JR. MR. THOMAS E. ROBINSON MS. ANNA L. SMITH MS. TAMIKA LANGLEY TREMAGLIO (VICE CHAIR) MS. C. ELIZABETH WAGNER
National Aquarium is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to inspire conservation of the world’s aquatic treasures. | aqua.org
— John C. Racanelli, Chief Executive Officer HEAR MORE FROM JOHN | AQUA.ORG/ABLUEVIEW
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60% RECYCLED FIBER
A N I M A L U P D AT E
SILVER-BEAKED TANAGERS There’s a bit more crimson in the Upland Tropic Rain Forest exhibit with the addition of six silver-beaked tanagers, known for their deep red hue and striking beak. Found in South America, this species is not considered threatened, but faces challenges due to habitat destruction.
ORBICULAR BURRFISH This Indo-Pacific reef-dweller takes refuge in large sponges during the day and feeds at night. When threatened, this fish can take in water to inflate its body. Find this creature in our Hiding and Blacktip Reef exhibits.
PUFFIN BANDED CORAL SHRIMP Banded coral shrimp have been added to the Surviving Through Adaptation exhibit. As the largest known species of “cleaner shrimp,” banded coral shrimp remove parasites, injured tissue and food particles from a variety of reef species.
Puffin parents Victor and Vixen welcomed their fourth chick, a female, earlier this year. Puffins co-parent their young, taking turns incubating the egg, protecting their nest and feeding their chick. After 45 days in its burrow, our baby puffin started exploring the Sea Cliffs exhibit. It will take two or more years for her bright colors and large triangular bill to develop.
RED-CAPPED CARDINALS Similar to the famous American cardinal, this South American finch uses its beak to crack seeds. Find this bird in the Upland Tropical Rain Forest exhibit.
CACAO TREE Chocolate, anyone? There are two new pods in the South American cacao tree, located in our Upland Tropical Rain Forest exhibit. These pods can range in color from green to deep maroon, depending on genetics and ripeness, and its seeds can be used to make chocolate.
JUVENILE HOGFISH This Western Atlantic coral reef native gets its name from its “pig-like” snout. It roves the sandy bottoms of shallow ocean areas in search of mollusks, crabs and sea urchins. Capable of growing to three feet long, this vulnerable species is in danger due to population decline from spearfishing practices.
FRILLED LIZARDS Our herpetology staff is currently caring for four juvenile frilled lizards in Animal Planet Australia: Wild Extremes. Also known as “frillnecks,” this species is found in the humid woodlands of northern Australia and parts of southern New Guinea. They spend most of their time perched up in the trees, perfectly camouflaged, only venturing down to the floor in search of food.
B E T H E F I R S T T O G E T A N I M A L U P D AT E S O N O U R B L O G AT N AT I O N A L A Q U A R I U M . W O R D P R E S S . C O M A N D O N O U R FA C E B O O K PA G E
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Aquarium Welcomes First-Ever Chief Conservation Officer
LUCKY NO.100 WE HAVE RELEASED OUR 100TH ANIMAL INTO THE WILD!
WHENEVER A RESCUED and rehabilitated
animal is released back into the wild, it is a happy occasion. But when the National Aquarium Animal Rescue team escorted Kemp’s ridleys Duckie and Bender and green sea turtle Willard to the shores of the Chesapeake Bay last summer, it was extra special as the Aquarium celebrated our 100th (and 101st and 102nd) animal release. Since 1991, National Aquarium Animal Rescue has been responding to stranded marine mammals and sea turtles found in and around Maryland. During that time, our team has cared, rescued, treated and released a variety of species to their natural habitats, including seals, sea turtles, rough-toothed
dolphins, a harbor porpoise, a pygmy sperm whale and a manatee. The 2012 winter was particularly challenging for sea turtles in the northeast, as a cold-stun spell stranded hundreds of endangered sea turtles. A loggerhead sea turtle, named Rooney, was one of the first cold-stunned turtles to come to the Aquarium and has been with us since December 23, 2012. Finally, after much care, he was released this fall off the coast of Virginia Beach, Virginia, along with three other loggerheads. To learn more about our rescued and released animals,visit aqua.org/animalrescue.
TO SOLIDIFY OUR COMMITMENT to serving as
a national leader in ocean preservation and environmental stewardship, we are excited to announce the appointment of Eric Schwaab, our first-ever Senior Vice President and Chief Conservation Officer (CCO). He joined our team on July 1 and will provide strategic vision and leadership for our team of 130 professionals in the Conservation and Science division. Schwaab will lead initiatives that include field conservation, biological programs, legislative advocacy and animal rescue. Prior to the Aquarium, Schwaab served as the Acting Assistant Secretary for Conservation and Management for the US Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, working closely with Congress, other agency leaders, partner organizations and local communities to develop policies and take conservation action.
AQUARIUM BOARD ADDS FOUR NEW MEMBERS FOUR NEW MEMBERS have joined the National Aquarium Board of Directors, including
National Aquarium CEO John Racanelli and Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake at the ribbon cutting for Blacktip Reef.
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Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake; Exelon Executive Vice President/ Constellation Chief Executive Officer Joseph Nigro; Rams Head Group President Kyle Muehlhauser; and IMPACTS Research & Development Chief Market Engagement Officer Colleen Dilenschneider.“We are delighted to welcome these board members to the National Aquarium,” said John Racanelli, National Aquarium CEO. “Their expertise and passion for ocean conservation will help guide the Aquarium in our mission to inspire conservation of aquatic treasures.”
C O N S E R VA T I O N
MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICE There are many ways that you can encourage and promote sustainable seafood selection. THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT
FISHY LABELS WHAT ARE YOU REALLY EATING? THE TRUTH ABOUT YOUR SEAFOOD.
HAVE YOU EVER THOUGHT ABOUT how fish
DID YOU KNOW? THIRTY-THREE PERCENT OF SEAFOOD PURCHASED IN THE UNITED STATES IS MISLABELED.
travel from the ocean to your dinner plate? It isn’t always easy to tell. According to a recently released study from Oceana, seafood fraud is a pervasive problem. From 2010 to 2012, Oceana conducted an investigation, collecting more than 1,200 seafood samples in 21 states. Using a DNA barcoding technique, a short DNA sequence was obtained from each sample and then compared to a catalogue of sequences from more than 8,000 fish species. This DNA testing showed that 33 percent of the samples analyzed were mislabeled, and there was tremendous variation depending on the fish purchased. Seafood fraud occurs for many reasons, including a lack of understanding, a desire to increase profits and attempts to launder illegally harvested seafood. Along the supply chain, a lesser-valued fish may be substituted. Others may short-weight the product, meaning the seafood processor misrepresents the weight of a product so the customer gets less for their money. The consequences of this fraud are considerable. In addition to affecting human health when one species is swapped with
another species that may have contaminants, allergens or toxins, seafood fraud disguises what is truly happening in the marketplace, incentivizing illegal fishing and threatening conservation efforts. National Aquarium has partnered with Oceana and the Monterey Bay Aquarium to spread awareness about seafood fraud and create public dialogue about this practice. “The best way to combat seafood fraud is to require traceability—or the ability to track our fish from boat to plate,” says Beth Lowell, campaign director for Oceana. Oceana and other environmental advocacy groups support federal legislation that will mandate traceability.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium has developed Seafood Watch, an app for iPhone® and Android® that allows you to search for sustainable options and share locations where you have found sustainable seafood. SHARE YOUR KNOWLEDGE
Spread the word about sustainable choices to your friends and family. MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD
Write your elected officials and let them know that you care how seafood fraud is impacting our community, our economy and our oceans. EXPAND YOUR KNOWLEDGE
Learn about Community Supported Fisheries (CSFs) in your area that make direct links between local consumers and fishermen. Maryland’s True Blue Program identifies restaurants that sell locally sourced crab meat. COME TO FRESH THOUGHTS
Join us for an evening at our sustainable seafood dining series, Fresh Thoughts. Guests get to enjoy a delicious dinner and a fun night out, and also increase their understanding of sustainable seafood practices.
F I N D O U T A B O U T F R E S H T H O U G H T S D I N N E R S AT A Q U A . O R G / F R E S H T H O U G H T S
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E D U C AT I O N
THE CHESAPEAKE AS A CLASSROOM STUDENTS AND THE NATIONAL AQUARIUM PARTNER UP TO LEARN ABOUT THE BAY.
ON A CLOUDLESS SPRING DAY, students from
Cecil Elementary School in Baltimore weren’t sitting at their desks. Instead, along the beautiful banks of Sandy Point State Park, they donned waders to seine, using a net to catch small fish, crabs and other aquatic life. They used microscopes and magnifying glasses to look for evidence of animals growing on oyster shells and studied the life cycle of oysters and blue crabs. They evaluated water quality and examined the difference between brackish, fresh–and saltwater. They went on a nature hike, exploring animal habitats and identifying plants and animals. The experience at Sandy Point State Park is the culmination of a three-year program that brings National Aquarium education staff into the classroom and third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students into the great outdoors. The other field experiences include trips to Irvine Nature Center and Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine. David Christopher, education manager for the National Aquarium, has been involved in the AquaPartners program since
its beginning and says that it has proven tremendously valuable to both teachers and students. “Many of the city students had never had the opportunity to go to a natural area and learn about the environment,” explains Christopher. “It really broadens their horizons. And teachers seem to like the opportunity to do something different in their classroom, but still teach the concepts they need to teach.” Rick Wright, a teacher at Eastwood Elementary Magnet School, has been involved with AquaPartners for five years, working with fourth- and fifthgrade students. “The outdoor visit to MORE THAN 13,000 STUDENTS Fort McHenry is a real eye-opener for HAVE PARTICIPATED IN THE all our kids,” says Wright. “Most of these children live five to 10 minutes AQUAPARTNERS PROGRAM from the water, but do not know the SINCE IT STARTED IN 2002. impact that humans have on the bay and its rivers and streams. The Nation-
AQUAPARTNERS 101 Available to all schools within a one-hour drive of the Aquarium. THIRD GRADE
Irvine Nature Center Marshland Mystery Auditorium Maryland Habitats
Waterman Presentation and Lab Trash in a Marsh Lab Fort McHenry field experience
Oyster Reef Presentation and Lab Chesapeake Bay Explorations Lab Aquarium admission to Family Night Sandy Point State Park field experience
al Aquarium helps bridge that gap, and the students become stewards of the bay.” The AquaPartners program completed its 10th year this past spring, and just expanded to include third grade this year. The program targets elementary school age groups by design, in an effort to establish early environmental awareness. “Children are natural scientists,” explains Christopher. “This is a time in the students’ lives when they are starting to make sense of the world around them, when all the information they have been learning comes together. We want to encourage this scientific interest in third, fourth and fifth grade and have them carry that interest into middle school. Hopefully they will take an interest in other environmental learning opportunities, like the Aquarium’s Henry Hall Program.” “The students are empowered by the Aquarium,” states Wright. “Once they begin the program with all these hands-on activities, they become proponents of marine life and ecosystems.” Christopher echoes this sentiment: “I get excited to see the faces of the children when we catch fish at Sandy Point, or when they realize the trash they see in the water is same as the trash they see on the streets, and it is all connected.” — Amanda Forr
T O L E A R N M O R E , V I S I T A Q U A . O R G / A Q U A PA RT N E R S , C A L L 4 1 0 - 5 7 6 - 8 7 9 9 O R E - M A I L D AV I D C H R I S T O P H E R AT D C H R I S T O P H E R @ A Q U A . O R G
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A NEW DIRECTION
MAXIMIZE YOUR MEMBERSHIP
AS THE DC VENUE CLOSES, THE AQUARIUM LOOKS TO THE FUTURE.
Here’s how to take advantage of all your membership has to offer!
DUE TO NECESSARY RENOVATIONS in the Depart-
GREAT MEMBER DISCOUNTS
ment of Commerce building, the National Aquarium, DC, closed on September 30. With the closing, 1,700 of the Washington venue’s 2,500 animals are being relocated to National Aquarium, Baltimore, and the Aquarium’s offsite Animal Care Center. New additions to the Baltimore facility include a loggerhead sea turtle, a giant Pacific octopus, emperor angelfish and a guineafowl puffer. Before being placed on exhibit, all animals go through an observation period, during which time Aquarium animal care staff perform necessary entry exams and monitor their health. The 800 remaining animals are being relocated to other accredited aquariums. Originally formed in 1873 in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, as part of the Federal Fish Commission, the National Aquarium moved to Washington, DC, in 1885, opening its doors to visitors with a collection
of 180 species of fish, reptiles and other aquatic animals. The Aquarium has been housed in the Commerce building since 1932. The Aquarium’s staff has until March 2014 to relocate all of the animals and break down the exhibits. The DC closure will not impact the operations of the National Aquarium, Baltimore. A continued presence in the nation’s capital is planned, despite the recent closing. A National Aquarium Board task force, created following the closure announcement in May, has enlisted award-winning Studio Gang Architects and IMPACTS Research & Development to help lead a process entitled BLUEprint, which will include research, engagement, design and analysis to determine the National Aquarium’s best use of resources in the nation’s capital, identifying key partners, defining the optimal facilities and program and delineating the range of costs.
All members enjoy discounts in Aquarium shops and restaurants and on parking and photo services. INVITE GUESTS TO VISIT FOR LESS
As an Aquarium member, you can purchase discount tickets for your guests. ENJOY SPECIAL MEMBER-ONLY EVENTS
Member-only evenings are a great way to enjoy the Aquarium, and now include a cash bar, education talks and free 4D theater screenings. Plus, bring guests for just $25. Get member-only evening information online at aqua. org/memberevents. Give the gift of the Aquarium. Members can purchase advance tickets for family and friends at a discount to give as gifts.
MAKING OCEAN ART THE NATIONAL AQUARIUM, along with 24 other aquariums
around the country, is participating again in the Coastal America Ocean Art Contest. With the goal of encouraging public understanding of the ocean’s importance to all of us, the winning art will become part of a traveling showcase starting in June 2014 in Washington, DC, and journeying throughout North America until July 2015.
The National Aquarium Education team is accepting art and photography submissions from multiple age groups (grades K-2; 3-5; 6-8; and 9-12; and adults) until December 16. To enter, mail your entries to: National Aquarium, ATTN: Joe Harber, Director of Education Programs, 111 Market Place, Suite 800, Baltimore, MD 21202. For complete information on the contest and details on how to format submissions, please visit coastalamerica.gov.
F O R T H E L AT E S T U P D AT E S O N N AT I O N A L A Q U A R I U M , WA S H I N G T O N , D C , P L E A S E V I S I T W W W. A Q U A . O R G / D C
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UNDER WATER CITY THE HUSTLE AND BUSTLE OF A BUSY CORAL R E E F — A N D W H Y T H E S E U N D E R W AT E R C I T I E S ARE IN DANGER OF BECOMING GHOST TOWNS BY SAMANTHA MCCOY
HEAR MORE FROM JOHN | AQUA.ORG/ABLUEVIEW
HEAR MORE FROM JOHN | AQUA.ORG/ABLUEVIEW
H O N E Y C O M B W H I P R AY ( H I M A N T U R A U N D U L ATA )
among the most incredible natural wonders i
c u r ato r J ac k C ov e r r e f e r s to a c o r a l r e e f a s t
The Value of Coral Reefs The loss of thriving coral reefs has real consequences, and not just to their many inhabitants. Besides being essential habitats for fish, coral reefs have a measurable value to those who live on land. Because they essentially serve as mountain ranges for the ocean’s coastlines, they deflect the energy of brutal storms that might otherwise decimate coastal communities. According to curator Jack Cover, “In areas where we have 10 WATERMARKS | WINTER 2013
experienced tsunamis, the areas with coral reefs fared much better than those without.” Chemical compounds unique to coral reefs are especially useful for medicinal purposes. Researchers have used coral amalgams to treat ailments including ulcers, skin cancers and heart disorders. Once the correct formula is identified, the medicines can be mass-produced synthetically. And of course, the natural beauty of coral reefs makes them attractive for tourists, too. Visitors from all over the world flock to the Florida Keys, Barbados, Indonesia, Australia and other destinations to get a closer look. Most of these areas rely heavily on tourism for economic growth and sustainability, so preserving coral reefs is vital for their economies. All told, the economic value of coral reefs has been estimated at approximately $375 billion per year. Reefs in Danger Sadly, coral reefs are highly threatened. Storm damage, invasive species, climate change, coastal development and commercial use are just a few of the threats. Corals are extremely sensitive, so even small shifts in light, temperature and water acidity can be detrimental. Many of the choices that we make each day contribute to the devastation of coral reefs. “You can look and see photographs of reefs that have been destroyed or are very sick and stressed,” Cover explains. Coral is able to grow and repair itself, but needs precisely the right environment to do so. In order for many coral species to thrive, they must have exposure to bright
7 5 p e rc e n t o f t he world’ s re e f s a re c o n si d ered t h re at e n e d.
sunlight. Clear-water environments are necessary for corals to receive the maximum amount of direct light. Pollution in our water from runoff and other chemicals can cause excessive amounts of algae to grow on its surface. This process, called eutrophication, clouds the water and prevents coral from getting the sun that it needs. In addition to chemical pollutants, coral reefs are also threatened by ocean acidification caused by the burning of fossil fuels. This process sends a deluge of carbon dioxide into the air, forming carbonic acid. Destructive fishing practices, such as
ften thought of as rocks or plants, corals are actually made up of invertebrates called polyps. These polyps can range in size from a millimeter to a foot in diameter. The polyps group together, forming a colony, and use calcium carbonate from the ocean to build a protective skeleton. Generally, corals are classified as either hard or soft corals. Hard corals are the framework of the reef. As these corals grow in colonies, they create skeletons. Soft corals are soft and bendable, looking more like plants. These organisms form a visually stunning and biologically important foundation for many ocean inhabitants, from tiny fish to large apex predators like sharks. Though coral reefs constitute less than one percent of the ocean floor, they support an estimated 25 percent of ocean life. They are incredibly biodiverse, and provide critical spawning, nursery, breeding and feeding grounds for thousands of species. And, according to a report by the World Resources Institute, 75 percent of the world’s reefs are considered threatened.
and overflowing with life, Coral reefs are
s in the world. Nati onal Aq uarium ge n e ral
s t h e N e w Yo r k C i t y o f t h e o c e a n .
the use of cyanide to attract specific types of fish, also contribute to the devastation of coral reefs. To respond to the threat of ocean acidification, on September 9, 2013, the XPRIZE Foundation launched the $2 million Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE. This new contest, developed with help from the National Aquarium and other leading ocean health organizations, aims to spur innovators to develop accurate and affordable ocean pH sensors that will ultimately transform our understanding of one of the greatest problems associated with the rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide.
W hat ’s the Har m in Cor al Jewelry? Corals grow very slowly, with the slowest-growing species adding between two-tenths and one inch per year. Even a fast-growing coral adds only about eight inches a year. The harvesting of coral can have serious consequences on shoreline protection, animal habitats and the economy of coastal communities. Years ago, even Tiffany & Co. took a stance on coral jewelry, calling coral “too precious to wear.”
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Baltimore’s coral reef The National Aquarium’s new exhibit Blacktip Reef, which opened last summer, is designed to raise awareness of the value of coral reefs and the need to preserve them. When visitors enter the exhibit, fashioned after an Indo-Pacific reef, they are able to see a coral ecosystem from a variety of perspectives. By simply looking down, viewers are able to see a complex seascape and the
perspective and know there is an abundant aquatic community in the ocean bigger than they could have ever imagined,” Cover explains. Blacktip Reef contains nearly 3,000 pieces of replicated coral. The designers, who worked on this exhibit for more than two years, were tasked with replicating the coral instead of growing it live. “We have live coral in other areas of the Aquarium,
While coral reefs make up just 0.2 PERCENT of the ocean floor , they support about 25 percent of all marine animals. hundreds of animals living in and around the reef. Visitors can also get an up-close look at the reef ’s inhabitants and corals through a massive underwater viewing window with a floor-to-ceiling pop-out view. Sleek, fast-moving blacktip reef sharks, the centerpiece of the exhibit, are a smaller shark species that help to preserve balance in a coral reef ecosystem. “We want visitors to see the coral reef from an underwater
but growing enough coral for a tank of this size could take more than 100 years,” explains Cover. “Also, it was not practical to install the needed number of high intensity lights, directly over the water’s surface, to sustain live corals.” Every piece of fabricated coral was made by using molds taken from real coral skeletons. The different species of corals were then mounted on a recreated reef
habitat in densities, groupings, orientations and at water depths similar to how they would grow in the wild. The artificial coral is constructed of material that is durable, yet flexible enough to withstand the activity of the animals over time. Cover hopes that after viewing Blacktip Reef, guests will come away with a deeper understanding of the importance of coral reefs and a commitment to make choices that will contribute to coral reef conservancy. “The aquarium is all about inspiring people to preserve aquatic treasures,” he says. “There is no greater aquatic treasure than the coral reef community. Through this exhibit, we want to spread the message of beauty and encourage people to think of ways to keep coral reefs alive and well for our generations and generations to come.” While the future of coral reefs may appear bleak, Cover wants everyone to know that all hope is not lost. “Some people are defeatist and say that it is too late, but there is still time. Believe it or not, the individual choices that we make each day make a difference.”
Meet Jack Cover General Curator of National Aquarium You’ve been at the aquarium for 25 years. Is
What do you find particularly exciting about Blacktip Reef?
What sparked your interest in biology and herpetology?
I am privileged to be part of a team that provides people with an opportunity to get up close and personal with plants and animals from all over the world. I have had a lifetime of pleasure exploring natural areas and seeing and learning about how wild animals live and survive. I get to share this passion and the excitement that animals bring to my life with others. In 2007, the aquarium played a role in the ending of the unsustainable commercial harvest of our state reptile, the diamondback terrapin. I’m very proud of that accomplishment.
It is an authentic re-creation of one of the world’s true aquatic treasures. This exhibition is so timely as the world’s coral reefs are under threat by things like ocean acidification. If you’re on the fence about reducing your carbon footprint or buying a hybrid car, let the power and beauty of this exhibit be your tipping point. There is still time to save the world’s coral reefs. We can make that happen by using existing knowledge and making smart choices in our daily lives.
I had one obsession—to go out and find reptiles and amphibians and bring them home. It started at a very young age when a neighbor, a school bus driver, dropped off a beautiful ring-necked snake for me and my older brother. It had been confiscated from a boy who had brought it on his bus to terrorize the girls. My parents were very patient and supportive of this hobby because they saw that it brought me complete happiness.
there anything you’re particularly proud of?
H E A R M O R E F R O M J A C K O N O U R B L O G AT N AT I O N A L A Q U A R I U M . W O R D P R E S S . C O M
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2012 ANNUAL REPORT XXX NATIONAL AQUARIUM
Our Economic Impact
e celebrate all natural environments, from the Chesa-
In 2012, Sage Policy Group, Inc., wrote a sweeping assessment of the National Aquarium’s economic contributions to the city of Baltimore, the state of Maryland and the District of Columbia, resulting in some extraordinary findings.
peake Bay to the world’s coral reefs, and from the ocean’s depths to the tropical rainforest canopy. Through pio-
neering science, conservation initiatives, educational programming and advocacy for public policies, we address issues that challenge aquatic habitats globally. We are dedicated to ensuring that these aquatic trea-
❚ 1.3 million people visit the National Aquarium, Baltimore, annually, making it the number one paid tourist destination in the city
sures are able to thrive, and we are determined to convey the beauty and essential value of aquatic wildlife in all its astonishing variations. Our work has an immediate impact, as children connect with aquatic
❚ $319.6 million in annual economic impact in the region
creatures they never imagined existed, as families share the excitement of watching dolphins at play, as volunteers plant native marsh grasses
❚ 590 people directly employed by the Aquarium
and witness the improvement in water quality along the waterfront and as our Animal Rescue team cares for injured sea creatures and releases
❚ 3,347 jobs supported by the National Aquarium in the region
them back into the wild. Each activity inspires insight into the incredible world we share with our aquatic neighbors.
❚ $17.9 million in annual tax revenues for the City of Baltimore, District of Columbia and State of Maryland
In carrying out the National Aquarium’s mission, we keep our core values of integrity, innovation, service, excellence and engagement in
❚ More than 88 percent of visitors say the National Aquarium is their primary reason for visiting Baltimore
mind. As our influence expands regionally and nationally, these values provide a framework to lead with a conciousness of the value of people. Every contribution helps us to preserve and protect our environment. HEAR MORE FROM JOHN | AQUA.ORG/ABLUEVIEW
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2012 ANNUAL REPORT SUMMARY
Amaze. Inspire. Connect. Conserve. With more than 17,000 animals representing species from around the globe, the National Aquarium is an amazing journey through the wonders of our aquatic world. Each day at the Aquarium is different—full of surprises and inspiring encounters. Every startling insight encourages visitors to help protect our blue planet. Connections that we make through education and outreach are the lifeblood of our endeavors and the heartbeat of our work. Our successful conservation initiatives in marine ecology have made a measurable difference in protecting aquatic wildlife and restoring our natural waters.
1 Our Jelly Swarm art installation, made possible by an anonymous donor, was a collaboration between Aquarium staff and concept designer Stephen Seigel of Dillon Works in Seattle, Washington. 2 In late August, Ivy, one of National Aquarium’s Linne’s two-toed sloths, gave birth. The newborn was later named Camden. 3 Here, Director of Marine Mammal Programs Sue Hunter is pictured working with an underwater touchscreen keyboard used by our dolphins. Diana Reiss, renowned cognitive psychologist and dolphin researcher, worked with Aquarium trainers to develop this touchscreen keyboard to study dolphin communications. 4 The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) designated the Aquarium’s Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Waterfront Park a Certified Wildlife Habitat. John C. Racanelli was joined by City of Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and NWF Board Chair Steve Allinger. 5 A rare albino alligator named Oleander found a temporary home on exhibit at National Aquarium, Washington, DC. 6 The work-study program Aquarium on Wheels combines field research, conservation activities, job training and the theater arts to promote environmental stewardship. 7 An incredible 1,432 volunteers participated in the National Aquarium’s community-based restoration projects in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, including volunteer Mary Sidlowski, who planted trees at Naval Support Facility Indian Head and Stump Neck Annex. 8 Our Cultural Series starts every fall, highlighting a culture from around the world on the first Friday of every month. 9 2012 marked the end of an era,
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2012 ANNUAL REPORT SUMMARY
as our longtime Wings in the Water exhibit was drained, and work began on Blacktip Reef, a dynamic re-creation of an Indo-Pacific reef. The new exhibit is intended to strengthen our reinvigorated conservation message by inspiring our guests to take action. 10 Our research team and community members tag sharks off the coast of Ocean City every year to gather data on migration and abundance. 11 Schmidt Ocean Institute’s Research Vessel Falkor docked at the National Aquarium at the end of its maiden voyage, sharing information about its ocean research projects. 12 Staff-guest interactions reinforce messages about our connection to the natural world. 13 As part of the Healthy Harbor Initiative, Aquarium staff helped launch an additional 2,000 square feet of floating wetlands in the Inner Harbor. 14 National Aquarium film Wounded Warriors was a finalist for the Blue Ocean Film Festival “Best Short” award. 15 Our Internal Conservation Committee decided to transform outdated vinyl banners that adorn our buildings into recycled, repurposed, reusable tote bags. 16 Our Animal Rescue team rescued and began caring for a loggerhead sea turtle from the first confirmed viable sea turtle nest ever seen in the Assateague Island area. 17 National Aquarium’s Youth Programs staff and Aquarium on Wheels students participated in osprey banding at the Patuxent River Nature Center in August. 18 Our active conservation team coordinated efforts in 2012 that resulted in the planting of 146,273 native plants and the restoration of 7.9 acres.
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2012 ANNUAL REPORT SUMMARY
2012 OPERATING HIGHLIGHTS
NATIONAL AQUARIUM INSTITUTE
Contributions and Grants
Education Programs 4%
Gift Shop and Food Service
Catered Events Investments Total Revenue
General & Corporate Membership Programs
Group Sales 4% Investments 7%
EXPENSES Biological Programs
Contributions and Grants 19%
Education Programs 10%
Plant Operations 18%
Visitor Operations 6%
Supporting Services 30%
Biological Programs 19%
Depreciation 15% Other 2%
As a private nonprofit organization, we depend on the generosity of those who understand our mission and support our work. We acknowledge, with deepest gratitude, the members, donors, foundations, corporations and governmental partners who share our vision and have contributed in 2012 to its ongoing realization.
V I E W T H E F U L L A N N U A L R E P O R T AT A Q U A . O R G / A N N U A L R E P O R T S . R E Q U E S T P R I N T E D C O P I E S B Y E M A I L I N G M E M B E R S @ A Q U A . O R G
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BEHIND THE GLASS OF
PACIFIC CORAL REEF BY AMANDA FORR
THERE’S MORE TO PACIFIC CORAL REEF THAN NEMOS HIDING AMONG THE ANEMONES AND DORYS DARTING THROUGH THE WATER.
alking past Pacific Coral Reef, you’re likely to hear excited children calling, “I see Nemo!” and “Dory!” And yes, it’s true. This 6,400-gallon exhibit, located on Level 4 of Blue Wonders: Reefs to Rainforests, is home to percula clownfish (aka, Nemo) and blue hippo tangs (aka, Dory), but a closer look at this incredible habitat shows that there’s a lot more to see beneath the surface.
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CARING FOR CORAL Pacific Coral Reef is one of just two exhibits at the National Aquarium to feature live coral, as most of our corals are fabricated by a team of designers who specialize in beautiful, functional habitat construction. Harvesting coral from the wild is illegal, and live corals require intense amounts of light and take years to grow. “They’ve got a lot more lighting than any of our other systems,” explains aquarist Allan Kottyan. In the exhibit, metal halides provide the necessary light, and chemical treatments a few times per week ensure that the habitat is a healthy place for fish, invertebrates and corals to thrive. “For the most part, the coral grows very slowly, but some species, like the soft leather coral, actually grow really well,” says Kottyan. “The harder corals take a little bit longer to grow, because of the
time it takes for their skeletons to develop.” Behind the scenes, aquarists grow corals near the surface of the water in the backup area. These corals are later moved toward the front of the exhibit. FEEDING TIME Aquarists feed the animals of Pacific Coral Reef three times per day, but depending on the species, they’re not all eating the same things. Fish eat pellet food, krill and shrimp, and the corals are fed brine shrimp and other microscopic bits. “The anenomes could eat some of the larger food items if they ever made it down there, but the fish are pretty impressive at eating everything right away,” says Kottyan. “The corals tend to eat the pieces that are too small for the fish to pick up.” KEEPING IT CLEAN Snails and hermit crabs are added to help keep the exhibit clean by eating algae. Pacific Coral Reef also requires more water movement than other exhibits, so tools like an overnight wave machine help prevent algae and debris from obstructing the corals. “Polyps can’t eat if they are covered, so the corals need to be free of any algae,” explains
Want to see the Pacific Coral Reef in action from anywhere in the world? A webcam hidden in a rock transmits images live. Watch this amazing habitat by visiting aqua.org/webcams.
Kottyan. Bacteria grows in the deep sand bed at the bottom of the exhibit, which helps with water quality. In addition to the natural cleaning process, aquarist Kelli Cadenas cleans the window from the inside about once per week, accessing it via a catwalk that drops down to the exhibit. MORE THAN FISH Take a closer look at the Pacific Coral Reef and you’ll find a lot more than fish. Altogether, 662 animals representing 35 different species live in the exhibit, including 182 corals and other invertebrates. Other species you may not see at first include sally lightfoot crabs and yellow sea cucumbers (only about an inch long). For a real challenge, search the sandy bottom for a star-like imprint. Sand-sifting sea stars are buried just beneath the surface, and if you look closely, you can see their design in the sand. These sea stars help circulate the water. AN ENDANGERED SPECIES IS BORN Banggaii cardinalfish may be small (adults are just three inches), but they’re an important piece of the Pacific Coral Reef. These fish, often found hovering in schools, are
actually endangered in the wild. Here at the Aquarium, Banggai cardinalfish are bred in Pacific Coral Reef. Says Kottyan, “We never see the eggs; we just see the babies.” These mouth breeders will incubate the eggs in their mouths and release the fry a couple weeks later. The baby Banggai cardinalfish hang out near the surface of the water. The babies are removed from the Pacific Coral Reef and placed in a separate habitat behind the scenes to grow a little. They are then placed in classroom tanks and an exhibit on Level 3, Protecting. Once the cardinalfish are close to adult-size, they come back home to Pacific Coral Reef to live alongside the Nemos, Dorys and other animals that make this exhibit so extraordinary.
WHILE CORALS ARE KNOWN FOR THEIR VIBRANT COLORS, THEY ARE ACTUALLY TRANSLUCENT ORGANISMS. THEY RECEIVE COLOR FROM ZOOXANTHELLAE, THE ALGAE ON WHICH CORAL FEED.
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A SAFE SPACE BY SAMANTHA MCCOY
he ocean is undoubtedly one of our planet’s greatest treasures, our life-support system, our blue lungs. Destructive practices like overfishing, pollution and coastal development, however, continue to deplete marine ecosystems, threatening the sea’s continued ability to provide those essential resources. To protect these critical habitats, the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Marine Sanctuary system has preserved some of the most amazing and endangered resources in our oceans for more than 40 years. These marine sanctuaries not only provide secure habitats for species that would be threatened in unprotected waters, they also protect the natural topography of the environment while serving as recreational places for people to enjoy the ocean in a safe way. Each sanctuary strictly enforces regulations regarding which activities are allowed and which are not, and many utilize specific initiatives to educate visitors about appropriate behaviors while in the marine environment. These regulations are designed to ensure that the sanctuary thrives to its fullest extent. “If these areas are not protected, they will be vulnerable and utilized for other purposes,” says Jay Bradley, curator at the National Aquarium. “Protected places are important—marine sanctuaries, national parks, marine reserves, whatever they might be—because they afford those areas security.”
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CURRENT MARINE PROTECTED AREAS
Olympic Coast ● ● Thunder
Bay ● Stellwagen
National marine sanctuaries and marine national monuments are
Cordell Bank ●
designated through the authority
Gulf of the Farallones ● Monterey Bay
of the president, the US Congress
and the Secretary of Commerce.
Channel Islands ● ● Gray’s
Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument
Garden Banks ● Florida
Islands Humpback Whale ● American
ACRES OF LAND IN THE UNITED STATES
Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, located in the Hawaiian Islands, is larger than all the US’s national parks combined.
IN THE UNITED STATES THERE ARE
150 , 000
of whale strikes in busy shipping lanes have been reduced since the establishment of the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary.
S Q UA R E M I L E S OF PROTECTED MARINE SPACES
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BEHIND THE SCENES
Just add salt? Not quite. Here’s the inside story on how we get our water just right.
A The world is 70 percent water. 97.5 percent is salt water. The rest, just 2.5 percent, is freshwater. HEAR MORE FROM JOHN | AQUA.ORG/ABLUEVIEW
22 WATERMARKS | WINTER 2013
s vibrant fish residents swim gracefully in their aquatic habitats at the National Aquarium, the most important element of their exhibit homes—the water—often goes unnoticed. In total, more than 2 million gallons of water are perpetually pumped, filtered and repumped within the Aquarium’s nearly 200 water systems. For perspective, the average bathtub holds 50 gallons of water, making the National Aquarium’s water content roughly equal to 40,000 bathtubs. Maintaining the quality of these millions of gallons of water is essential for healthy animals, and it is through the tireless work of dedicated aquarists and laboratory and life-support staff that the National Aquarium provides the highest quality water to its more than 6,000 marine animals. This is no easy feat, especially when you consider that the public only sees the water contained within the 45 exhibits. For every exhibit, there are dozens of smaller backup tanks—nearly 150 overall—responsible for supporting thousands of animals.
Testing the Waters In every high school across the country, chemistry teachers illustrate water’s elemental simplicity by connecting two Hs to one O. Sustaining life at the Aquarium, however, as in the oceans, is infinitely more complex than the bonding of two atoms of hydrogen to one atom of oxygen. Salinity (the amount of salt), dissolved oxygen (the “air” fish absorb through their gills) and nitrates (waste products) all affect water chemistry. That chemical balance, in turn, affects those plants and animals on display, as well as fungi and
SALTWATER SCIENCE BY RO B I N O’ N E I L
bacteria that cannot be seen with the naked eye. Presenting a healthy environment by maintaining the absolute best water quality for each and every exhibit and backup tank requires a well-coordinated effort between staff and across departments. Each morning, aquarists, under the guidance of water quality expert Kim Gaeta, extract samples from select exhibits and backup tanks. Those samples are then labeled and delivered to the laboratory, where they are tested for ammonia, nitrite and salinity, as well as for pH and alkalinity. If there is a noticeable imbalance, staff, under the watchful eye of Laboratory Services Department supervisor Jill Arnold, can diagnose the problem and prescribe a solution. Most tanks are stable, like those featured in the Maryland: Mountains to the Sea exhibit, where solutions remain in a healthy range of parameters and therefore only require testing twice a month. However, systemspecific exhibits, like Dolphin Discovery and Shark Alley, require more frequent—sometimes daily—testing.
The Right Water Nearly all of the water in our exhibits is homemade seawater. The National Aquarium, like most other Aquariums, manufactures its own. The millions of gallons circulating through the exhibits are a combination of Baltimore City water and a house blend of salts. Consequently, these salt solutions affect the pH, dissolved oxygen levels and hardness of the seawater based on their own specific chemistry. Tons of salt is shipped to the Aquarium every year to be used in the manufacturing process. At a cost of about seven cents per gallon, the National Aquarium spends roughly $150,000 every year to manufacture seawater. “The Aquarium utilizes a variety of food-grade salts to prepare artificial seawater, using our proprietary formulation developed by our chemist,” says Arnold. “Our goal is to mimic natural ocean waters as closely as possible,” guaranteeing all of the animals of the National Aquarium a healthy place to call home.
Into the Bay The Aquarium’s lab technicians, aquarists and life-support system staff benefit from a very controlled environment. The water quality of exhibits is their realm, and they alone are responsible for its manipulation and regulation. It’s a different story just outside of the sliding glass doors in the Inner Harbor. Constant human interaction, storm water runoff, dissolved minerals and a host of other variables contribute to an environment that is impossible to regulate on an individual scale. Water quality is an important topic when our Aquarium Conservation Team (ACT!) visits a school for the Aquarium’s Wetland Nursery Program. In the Wetland Nursery Program, classrooms build an aquaculture tank that sustains native wetland grasses and fish. In teaching students about these ecosystems, ACT! talks about water quality and how it relates to the bay. The amount of dissolved oxygen is among the most critical aspects of water quality. Recently, Waterfront Partnership released the annual Healthy Harbor Report Card. The waters of the Inner Harbor received a not-so-great grade of C-. While the result wasn’t stellar, the Partnership and the Aquarium are dedicated to bringing that grade up and are making encouraging strides to improve not only the water quality of the Harbor, but of the entire Chesapeake Bay.
HEAR MORE FROM JOHN | AQUA.ORG/ABLUEVIEW
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Holiday GIFT GUIDE
Give the gift of a fun-filled day at the National Aquarium with gift tickets. Surprise someone with an Aquarium membership, the gift that keeps on giving all year. Know an animal lover? Adopt an Aquarium animal in his or her name with Aquadopts. Give an unforgettable experience with an Immersion Tour, such as a Dolphin Encounter or a Sleepover with the Sharks. aqua.org/gifts
TO PURC H ASE GIFTS IN TH IS GU IDE A N D M O RE , VI SI T SH O P. A QU A . OR G OR C A L L 443- 573- 0852 ( 10A M T O 5PM DAILY) F OR GUARA N TE E D C H R IS TM A S DE LIV E RY, A L L O R D E R S M U ST B E R E C E I VE D B Y 6 P M O N M O N D AY, D E C E MB ER 16
h e s e g i f t s a nGd I mF oTr e G U I D E a t
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NATIONAL AQUARIUM EARTHENWARE MUG MARYLAND CURIOSITIES This laugh-out-loud guide will introduce readers to the offbeat people, places and events of the Old Line State.
This classic earthenware mug is hand-crafted by a master potter for the Aquarium. Each is unique in size and slight color variations. This functional mug is 100% leadfree and non-toxic, making it food, oven, microwave and dishwasher safe. Made in the U.S.A. $24.99 PRODUCT# 3534975
$15.95 PRODUCT# 5220937
MARAHLAGO LARIMAR JEWELRY Sparkle like the Caribbean Sea! MarahLago’s Larimar jewelry matches elegance with style in these 1 1/4” tall, shining sterling silver and Larimar pendants. Each comes with a matching 18-inch chain. TURTLE PENDANT $169.99 PRODUCT# 5394737 DOLPHIN PENDANT $159.99 PRODUCT# 5394706
For the Kids
32” SHARK PLUSHES Give these sharks an opportunity to be a child’s best friend and take them on all of their adventures. Recommended for ages 3+.
Due to the unique nature of Larimar, the gemstones in your piece may vary slightly from those pictured.
LILLY PULITZER SCARF Don’t miss the opportunity to purchase this limited edition Lilly Pulitzer scarf, designed to recognize the National Aquarium’s 30th birthday. 50% cashmere, 50% silk and large enough to be used as a pashmina, the scarf represents a one-of-a-kind Lilly original. Every scarf purchase includes a generous donation to the National Aquarium. $118.00
To order, contact Jessica Donahue at 410-576-8535.
20.5” GREAT WHITE SHARK PUPPET This 20.5” plush shark puppet will bite, if provoked, and ensure adventures of fun will ensue. With his own story to share and a few facts of interest on his hang tag, he’s sure to be educational and fun. PLUSH GREAT WHITE SHARK $29.99
32” PLUSH GREAT WHITE SHARK $49.99 PRODUCT# 6923837
32” PLUSH BLACK TIP REEF SHARK $49.99
RAVENSBURGER PUZZLE Make your puzzle come to life and experience a totally new visual reality! To ensure that no two pieces are alike and guarantee a perfect interlocking fit, each piece is hand cut. It’s a fun look-and-find game, as you “fish” for a variety of deep-sea inhabitants as they swim by, blending puzzles with technology. (1,000 pieces) $24.99
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ys a d i l o the H
HAND-BLOWN AND HAND-PAINTED NATIONAL AQUARIUM ORNAMENTS
NATIONAL AQUARIUM ORNAMENT Hang some memories of the National Aquarium on your tree this year. $9.99 PRODUCT# 3484126
NATIONAL AQUARIUM GLASS PICTURE FRAME Keep your favorite memories forever with our National Aquarium picture frame $30.00 | $15.00
In-store promo price
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Add marine life to your holiday with the gift of a unique ornament crafted in age-old tradition. Each of our exquisite hand-blown ornaments are hand-painted and glittered in a series of steps, making each ornament unique. PENGUIN FAMILY ON ICEBERG $24.99 PRODUCT# 7026568
SEA TURTLE $29.99 PRODUCT# 7026551
SCUBA DIVER AND DOLPHIN $24.99 PRODUCT# 7028173
SAIL BOAT $19.99 PRODUCT # 7028050
LIGHTHOUSE $24.99 PRODUCT# 7026582
SCUBA DIVER $24.99 PRODUCT# 7028067
SEA LIFE ORNAMENTS Who knew sea life could be so shiny and beautiful? Our ornaments are little works of art and beauty that will add a touch of unique grace to any tree. Each is unique in assorted colors. CRAB
$16.99 PRODUCT# 5777493
$16.99 PRODUCT# 5289293
$16.99 PRODUCT# 5289293
e m o H or the
AQUADOPTS You probably have a favorite animal at the National Aquarium. Whether it’s a reptile, a shark, a mammal or a bird, seeing it makes your visit special. By adopting an animal through our animal adoption program Aquadopt, you can help care for your favorite animal! Your gift helps to continue our mission to inspire conservation of the world’s aquatic treasures. Packages start at $50. Learn more at aqua.org/contribute
STARFISH GLASS COLLECTION Each piece of our Starfish glassware is unique, featuring cutting and engraving done in the USA, giving each a distinctive, timeless charm. CARAFE $49.99 PRODUCT# 5767753 WHITE WINE GLASS $14.99 PRODUCT# 5767760 STEMLESS WINE GLASS (15OZ) $12.99 PRODUCT# 6384164 RED WINE GLASS $14.99 PRODUCT# 5767777
DISHING UP ® MARYLAND NATIONAL AQUARIUM TRAVEL MUG
Dishing Up® Maryland focuses on the diversity of Maryland’s native foods and includes 150 recipes, as well as food lore; advice on where to visit; and local food producers, chefs, restaurants, fishermen and crabbers.
Enjoy your hot or cold beverage on the go while reminiscing with scenes from the National Aquarium. Size: 16oz. Hand wash. Do not microwave.
$19.95 PRODUCT# 5686054
$12.99 PRODUCT# 5686054
CHESAPEAKE BAY CRABS An exploration of Bay heritage and recipes. This collection of cherished and award-winning recipes, both old and new, is accompanied by tales of Maryland’s seafood industry, one of the oldest industries in the nation. $35.00 PRODUCT# 6318244
BLACKTIP REEF SHARK MUG Whether it’s coffee or tea, this National Aquarium Blacktip Reef Shark 15oz mug will satisfy your thirst and affinity of sharks. Hand wash. Dishwasher safe. $12.99 PRODUCT# 7102774
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Calypso’s Story As a juvenile, our now 500-pound green sea turtle, Calypso, was stranded off the shore of New York. At the time of her rescue, Calypso’s left-front flipper was severely infected, requiring amputation. She was taken to our Animal Care Center for rehabilitation and has been a beloved member of our Aquarium family ever since. THOUSANDS OF ANIMALS ARE STRANDED EACH YEAR. Your donation to the National Aquarium helps us to rescue and care for animals like Calypso and ensures we continue our mission to inspire conservation of the world’s aquatic treasures. We can’t do it without your support. Your contribution of $100, $250 or $500 goes toward exemplary animal care, conservation efforts and education programming.
410-576-8678 | firstname.lastname@example.org | aqua.org/contribute/donations
Mantis Shrimp Odontodactylus latirostris This vibrantly colored Indo-Pacific crustacean isn’t just a sight to behold. With 16 color receptive rods in each eye, it is able to see circularly polarized light, which human eyes cannot detect. Storing energy in their arms, mantis shrimp can attack with a force stronger than a .22 caliber bullet, capable of breaking through mollusk shells and even glass. This powerful punch moves so quickly—at speeds up to 50 miles per hour—that the water around them will boil in a process known as supercavitation. Engineers are exploring the exoskeletons of these creatures to build more effective armor for soldiers and protect athletes from concussions.
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501 East Pratt Street, Baltimore Maryland 21202
Return Service Required
The National Aquarium is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to inspire conservation of the world's aquatic treasures.
AQUADOPTS THE PERFECT HOLIDAY GIFT FOR ANY ANIMAL LOVER!
Adopting an animal is a great way to show you care, and it helps to ensure we can continue to educate our visitors about the world’s aquatic treasures. Adopt in honor of a friend or loved one and we’ll send them a card celebrating your contribution. ›› P ersonalized Aquadopt certificate ›› G lossy photo of your adopted animal ›› C uddly plush version of your animal ›› F ascinating fun facts Visit aqua.org/aquadopt
Non-profit Organization U.S. Postage PAID Baltimore, MD Permit No. 7625