Living Our Mission in Maryland

Since its opening in 1981, the National Aquarium has been a gem in the very heart of Baltimore's Inner Harbor, and generations of Maryland families have walked through our doors and shared in the wonders of the undersea world. Our mission, to inspire the conservation of the world’s aquatic treasures, has motivated thousands of Marylanders to appreciate and protect the delicate habitats in their own backyards.

I am immensely proud of the work we do right here in Maryland; from restoring the magnificent wetlands of the Chesapeake Bay to educating more than 100,000 Maryland school children a year, both here at the Aquarium and in the classroom. The Aquarium’s conservation and education programs, coupled with the many affordable-access programs offered to Maryland residents, ensure that nearly 400,000 Marylanders are able to visit the Aquarium each year. We are truly living our mission in Maryland—for the benefit of its children, families, animals, and wetlands—ensuring that our aquatic habitats remain healthy and strong for generations to come.

John C. Racanelli
Chief Executive Officer

Your Aquarium

Your Aquarium

As part of its continuing effort to extend community access to all Marylanders, the National Aquarium has announced the expansion of Half-Price Friday Nights to be year-round, the introduction of Pay What You Want Day, and the return of Maryland Mornings and Dollar Days.

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National Aquarium - Animal Rescue Release

In the Lab and in Your "Backyard,"

we help preserve Maryland's precious natural resources, from mountain streams to coastal shores. Our scientists study and rehabilitate native species in the wild, while our grassroots conservation efforts teach volunteers to save the Bay —one tidal wetland and stranded sea turtle at a time.

National Aquarium - Grade A Student Night

Educating our Advocates

By Inspiring Young People,

we provide exceptional educational opportunities for Maryland’s youth. Field trips bring classroom lessons to life, while internships, work-study programs, and scholarships offer students real-world experience for future careers.

National Aquarium - Cultural Series

Engaging Our Community

Diversity in Nature and in Our Community

is celebrated at the Aquarium. High-tech and high-touch services reveal the aquatic world to those with special needs, while a myriad of cultural experiences showcase Maryland’s rich ethnic heritage.

Special Needs and Cultural Programs

Braille Scripts

Deaf Awareness Day

Early Entry Days

Assisted Listening Devices

Audio Wireless Tour

Touch Bag/Hands-on Experiences

Latino Heritage Celebration

World Holiday Traditions Celebration

Native Cultures Celebration

Asian-Pacific Heritage Celebration

Black History Celebration

Women’s History Celebration

National Aquarium - Group Visits

Discount Programs

Maryland Residents Enjoy Exclusive Access

the aquatic world with special discount programs offered for local visitors. Frequent discount days allow Maryland families to enjoy the National Aquarium at a reduced admission price, while free access for Maryland schools provides a unique educational experience for local students.

Maryland Visitor Programs

Maryland Mornings: September–February, Maryland residents enjoy discounted admission before noon Sundays–Fridays

Maryland Schools Visit Free: Maryland student groups and their teachers visit for free

Half-Price Friday Nights: Discounted admission after 5 pm on Fridays

Dollar Days: First weekend of December, admission is just $1

Maryland Flag

Both Within and Beyond Our Walls

For three decades, the National Aquarium has been a symbol of urban renewal, an economic anchor for the region, and a source of pride for Marylanders.

Maryland Statistics

Each year the National Aquarium has an overall economic impact of $314 million.

  • Employs 590 full and part time employees
  • Attracts 1.4 million visitors annually
  • Engages 850 volunteers, contributing 119,000 hours annually

Conservation Numbers

  • Each year, the National Aquarium mobilizes over 3500 conservation volunteers
  • Diverts 136,000 pounds of Aquarium waste from landfills through internal conservation efforts
  • Plants 132,000 native plants, grasses, and trees in the Chesapeake Bay watershed
  • Remove 35,000 pieces of debris from area wetlands and parks

Education Numbers

  • Over 60,000 Maryland students visit annually from all 23 counties and Baltimore City
  • Engages over 600 Maryland teachers in workshops
  • Over 3,500 Maryland students participate in National Aquarium classroom programs at their schools

Community Numbers

  • The Aquarium donates 1,000 tickets annually to community organizations
  • Over 1,400 students and family members enter for free with their "A" report cards on "Grade A Student Nights" annually
  • 13,500 people toured the National Aquarium for just $1 during the annual Dollar Days promotion
  • 50,000 people enjoy Baltimore’s Fridays after Five promotion each year


Economic Impact Report

Download The Economic Contributions of the National Aquarium 2012 Assessment (1.4MB)


Historic Pier Four

Baltimore’s Inner Harbor has a wealth of history, including at the National Aquarium’s own Pier 4, a designated National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Historic Site.

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