This Year's Biggest Conservation Wins

In 2019, the news was filled with sobering stories on climate change and plastic pollution. We answered with action.

  • Conservation

Clean Ups and Habitat Restoration in Our Backyard

Our staff and volunteers made a huge, positive impact on local ecosystems this year. Together, we:

  • Removed 84,895 pieces of debris from our conservation sites in Baltimore City, including 1,236 plastic bags and 48,870 pieces of Styrofoam!
  • Planted 41,954 native plants in Virginia Beach and along Maryland's Eastern Shore, restoring and protecting vital habitats.
  • Engaged more than 2,000 Baltimore City residents in conservation outreach!
Group Picking up Trash at Fort McHenry Field Day

Stepping Up to Stop Plastic Pollution

This fall, the Baltimore City Council passed a plastic bag ban, an important step forward in our hometown’s efforts to curb the harmful effects of plastic pollution in our neighborhoods and surrounding waterways.

As ardent supporters of the legislation, we collected more than 500 pledges from residents in support of a bag ban and were excited to see this vote happen! Baltimore will now join more than 300 municipalities across the United States that have similar legislation to curb local usage of single-use plastics. Together, we can stop plastic pollution in our lifetime.

Green and Purple Boulder Brain Coral Being Fed With Pipette

The Race to Save the Florida Reef

National Aquarium experts are tackling conservation work far beyond our local community. The Florida Reef—the world's third largest—is being decimated by Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease, and we’re stepping up to help save it.

In 2019, we became one of 30 sites across the United States holding healthy coral samples from the Florida Reef. Approximately 1,500 samples were removed from the reef, and 98 of them are currently located at the National Aquarium's Animal Care and Rescue Center. The coral samples will be monitored and cared for by Aquarium staff for the next three years, with a potential goal to encourage coral reproduction to help restore the reef system in Florida with as much healthy coral as possible!

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