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National Aquarium Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Services, Animals, Environment, Natural Resources Conservation & Protection, Water, Water Resources, Wetlands Conservation & Management, Zoos & Aquariums

Mission: To inspire conservation of the world's aquatic treasures.

Programs: Biological programsthe national aquarium's living collection includes more than 17,000 animals from more than 750 species of fish, birds, amphibians, reptiles, and marine mammals that live in award-winning, re-created habitats. The biological programs department provides the best possible care for all animals in the collection and works to promote the conservation of wild populations and their habitats. In addition, biological programs staff conducts scientific research and field work to support species and habitat conservation, with a strong emphasis on the chesapeake bay.

conservation educationthe national aquarium's education programs help students and teachers gain leadership skills and improve science learning, especially at a time when school districts struggle to provide hands-on environmental education opportunities. Conservation programs, both on-site and in the field, guide participants toward more personal and sustainable relationships with the natural world, inspiring students to enjoy, respect and protect the aquatic world. Each year, more than 113,000 students and chaperones visit the national aquarium, with approximately 11,000 coming from baltimore city, which has many struggling schools. The free admission program, available to maryland schools, introduces students to environmental conservation and marine science. Programs for teachers and school-aged youth include curriculum support; teacher orientations, workshops, and other trainings; school group tours; and grade-appropriate classroom programs that meet national and state curriculum standards.

guest operationsas an institution accredited by the association of zoos and aquariums (aza), the national aquarium is a leader in its field and embraces the highest quality facilities, programs, and staff available. Since opening in 1981, more than 47 million guests have learned about the rich diversity of life through the aquarium's exhibits and by participating in its guest programs. Programming for guests includes animal encounters, feeding and diving demonstrations, guided tours, classroom programs, auditorium presentations, hands-on discovery cart interactions, and other enrichment activities and special events.

Community Stories

3 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

National Aquarium has changed. Staff not engaging as in the past, moral seems to be low, not clean as we have seen as aquarium members. No dolphin show but dolphins in a theater that needs TLC, hope their health is good with dirty, decaying, algae filled pools. Video screens do not function, no LED, poor guest experience. Shame to see with the $160+ for membership, last year for us.

Comments ( 1 )


Aquarium501 01/28/2019

I’m disheartened to hear you found your visit to be lacking. We aim to keep our facility in top shape, updating our exhibits and building often. With 20,000 animals of 800 species and daily immersive experiences like animal encounters and expert talks, we truly aim to provide an educational and inspiring visit for every guest. We are also currently working on the creation of a new seaside sanctuary home for our colony of dolphins, transitioning them to an area in Florida or the Caribbean. In preparation for their new sanctuary home, we’ve added a new addition to our dolphin exhibit—algae. Algae is a natural part of healthy ecosystems and allowing it to grow in Dolphin Discovery provides a more naturalistic environment and enrichment for the animals, helping them to prepare for their relocation. You can visit sanctuary.aqua.org for more information on this project. I welcome your additional feedback @social@aqua.org. Thank you again.

Review from Guidestar


General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Our 8 year old son is growing up with yearly visits to the National Aquarium. Besides the education factor, the FUN and stimulation of the WOW exhibits makes a difference in his life! Great staff who cares for the visitor and their animals! What a safe, clean, and FUN adventure at the Inner Harbor.

Review from Guidestar



Rating: 5

Every time I visit the National Aquarium with my family, we see a new animal, learn a new fact, enjoy a new interaction, and reinforce our collective believe that there is a greater power in our universe. The Aquarium is one of the few remaining public venues that can entertain and educate a group ranging from a toddler to a grandparent. We are so fortunate to have such a treasure in our City. Thank you for everything you have done for my family and our community.

Review from Guidestar