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End of Year Roundup: Our Biggest Moments

2018 was full of baby animals, touching animal rescue and rehabilitation stories and so many important conservation wins. This year, we also celebrated a few key moments—some of them years in the making—that we’re still feeling thrilled about.

Published December 18, 2018

Animal Care and Rescue Center Opens: The new Animal Care and Rescue Center in Baltimore’s historic Jonestown neighborhood officially opened in May. The Center more than doubles our capacity to care for off-exhibit and rescue animals. It also houses highly specialized equipment for water production and includes space for exhibit fabrication.


National Aquarium Animal Rescue rehabilitated two rescue seals in the Center’s rehabilitation suites, and several off-exhibit animals have adjusted to life in the state-of-the-art facility, including a South American freshwater stingray and a map pufferfish nicknamed Duncan.

Tours of the Animal Care and Rescue Center began in July for National Aquarium members, and they are anticipated to open to the public in 2019.

Virgin Holidays Announces Support for Dolphin Sanctuary: Work continued in 2018 to prepare our colony of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins for their future seaside sanctuary home. The year kicked off with a PBS NewsHour piece highlighting our efforts. More exciting news came in April when Virgin Holidays pledged $300,000 to help move the dolphins to our future sanctuary.

Empowerment Through Experience Launches: Every summer, Baltimore students explore the aquatic world and experience hands-on learning beyond the classroom through our Henry Hall summer camp program.

Shatera, who was part of our Henry Hall program

We set out to tell their stories through an interactive digital platform, Empowerment Through Experience, which launched in early 2018. The digital journey follows four local students as they embark on aquatic adventure through Henry Hall summer camps and become passionate protectors of our blue planet.

Stay tuned for more roundups of 2018 at the Aquarium!

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