A Pedacito Of The National Aquarium In Baltimore, Maryland
Updated: Jun 19, 2022
June is National Aquarium Awareness Month, a time to reflect on the institutions that promote conservation and research towards the beautiful wildlife that exists within our world. In honor of this observance, and to drive home its importance, I wanted to reflect on my trip to the most famous aquarium in the United States- the National Aquarium.
The National Aquarium is located in Baltimore, Maryland along the Inner Harbor- just steps away from the gorgeous views of the Patapsco River. The Inner Harbor is famous for housing planetariums and science centers that focus on protecting Earth and its creatures.
I visited the National Aquarium while touring Baltimore with my parents. We decided to take a spontaneous weekend trip to Baltimore in May of 2018 since it's only about 3 hours from my home in New Jersey. One of our "must-see" destinations was the National Aquarium from its rave reviews online. I love zoos, aquariums, and anything that gets me closer to wildlife, so I was excited to see the exhibits that this museum had to offer.
I was not let down when we stepped inside this massive aquarium. With its high ceilings, never-ending escalators that take you to all corners of the building, and animal habitats that span across entire floors, I'd never seen an aquarium that was this large.
To start, we were guided through the usual exhibits that you would expect from an aquarium. We saw jellyfish, sharks, and hundreds of species of fish.
We admired the gorgeous aquatic life that this museum had to offer. Each tank was spotless, and there were hundreds of staff members in various tanks that were feeding and monitoring the animals.
You could truly tell that the staff cared for the animals that lived in this aquarium. One of my favorite sections housed the jellyfish, where you could see them moving so gracefully through the tank with an amazing light-filled backdrop.
After walking through the traditional part of the aquarium, we were transported into another world when we were directed to head up an escalator that would lead us to the rainforest exhibit.
I had never seen an exhibit that was so magical in my life. There were real plants, trees, and everything that a "normal" outdoor rain-forest would traditionally have. I suddenly felt like I was in the Amazonian Rainforest, not Baltimore, Maryland.
As we continued through the rainforest, my family and I were in awe of all the animals we were able to see. From alligators to monkeys, various wildlife was scattered all around the exhibit.
The construction of the habitats was completely out of this world. I haven't been fortunate enough to see a rainforest in person - but if this is any indication of its beauty - I'm certain I'll have to see a real one in person.
After walking through the entire museum, my family and I were pretty exhausted. So, we decided to find somewhere to eat in the Inner Harbor. As we sat down at a local burger joint, we talked about the museum and what our favorite parts were.
My dad being a shark fanatic, was excited to see them up close and personal. My mom loved seeing the translucent jellyfish- while I was enamored with the Rainforest Exhibit.
There were bits from the entire museum that we all loved, but there were also things that stood out to each of us respectively. It was an experience that was both informative, but one that brought us closer together as a family.
This experience brings on the essential discussion of why we need to keep our aquariums in business. Not only are they informational and create a place to bond- but aquariums provide a space for species that are often endangered, to be protected and researched.
Some animals are quick to be killed in the wild but can be projected to live longer if they are in captivity. Now, there are terrible wildlife centers out there, like Sea World, that unfortunately abuse their animals- but that doesn't mean that all aquatic museums are bad.
With June being a month to shed light on the importance of our local aquariums, the Pedacitos Team thought now would be an important time to discuss the significance of our wildlife. We all love to travel, and the ecosystem is a huge part of why we connect with the different places that we venture to. Without the incredible Earth and all of the creatures that inhabit it, our experiences would be non-existent.
As we wrap up the month of June, consider donating to your local aquarium or wildlife research center. These businesses are allowing us to have a diverse planet with creatures from all around the world. The National Aquarium was truly an eye-opening experience that made me want to be more active in aquatic life and conservation.
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