When Singer and I decided to visit the National Aquarium in DC, we thought we were in for another great day at the tanks. Remember: babies love fish! Little did we realize that this aquarium is really a conservation project, and learning about what this team of scientists is doing for the aquatic world was pretty cool.
A little history for you: The Aquarium is OLD. In 1873 it was established as the nation's first. Since 1932 the aquarium has been housed in the Department of Commerce Building. And in 1982, the aquarium was established as an independently operated, non-federally funded entity. This makes me a little sad to think that the federal government has better things to spend their money on than this gallery. But, at the same time, I think it's really amazing that the independent researchers are committed enough to keep the project running despite the lack of federal funding.
The aquarium's National Marine Sanctuaries Gallery is by far the soul exhibit of the institution. Each tank represents a different species that is protected by the National Marine Sanctuaries Program. Singer discovered the Loggerhead Sea Turtles exhibit, and we ended up spending a lot of time with the baby turtles. We learned that when the turtles are about one year old, they are released back off the coast of North Carolina into the wild blue to start their adult journey.
If you are in DC, you should definitely check out this beautiful and important space. The fish need our support. Also, the DC Aquarium partners with the National Aquarium in Baltimore, and a membership buys you access to both locations.
Viva la (fish) revolution!