The National Aquarium and its Animal Care and Rescue Center will be closed through April 26 in response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus). CLICK HERE for more information.

National Aquarium, Baltimore, to Welcome New Animals Following Washington, DC Closure


National Aquarium, Baltimore, has announced that they will be increasing their animal collection following the closure of the organization’s Washington, DC, facility on September 30.

Throughout the month of October, 1,700 of the Washington venue’s 2,500 animals will be relocated to National Aquarium, Baltimore, and the Aquarium’s off-site Animal Care Center. Various fish will be added to the new Blacktip Reef exhibit including whitetailed damselfish, freckled hawkfish, emperor angelfish and a guineafowl puffer. Before being placed on exhibit, all animals will go through an observation period, during which time Aquarium animal care staff will perform necessary entry exams and monitor their health. The remaining animals will be relocated to other accredited aquariums.

After 81 years of welcoming visitors, National Aquarium closed its DC venue on September 30 due to necessary renovations to the historic Department of Commerce building that will cause it to vacate its current space by March 2014. The Aquarium’s staff will use the time between now and March to relocate all of the animals and break down the exhibits.

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.

Originally formed in 1873 in Woods Hole, MA, 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.

For the latest updates on National Aquarium, Washington, DC, including animal moves, the closing process and the Aquarium’s future plans in the capital, please visit

Animals, Exhibits