The Aquarium is currently open to the public. In response to COVID-19, we’ve made some essential changes to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all.

Environmental Responsibility

We prioritize natural resource conservation in our operations and advocate for conservation-focused public policies.

Sustainability and environmental responsibility touch every part of the National Aquarium’s day-to-day operations. We regularly evaluate how we’re doing and challenge ourselves to do even better. This includes eliminating single-use plastics throughout our operations, recycling everything from building materials to wet suits to used cooking oil, composting all food waste, and conserving water and energy. The Animal Care and Rescue Center is LEED certified, and we’ve taken steps to ensure both the Aquarium and ACRC buildings are safe for migratory birds.

We are a founding member of the Aquarium Conservation Partnership (ACP), a group of U.S. aquariums committed to advancing conservation of the world's ocean, lakes and rivers through consumer engagement, business leadership and policy changes. We also support and advocate for scientific research, policies and legislation that protect wildlife and habitats, including the Endangered Species Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act, Clean Water Act, the creation and expansion of marine protected areas and the reduction of plastic pollution.

Sustainable Business Practices

It takes a lot of energy and water to keep thousands of animals happy and healthy 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days per year—not to mention more than 1 million guests annually, plus hundreds of staff and volunteers. Regular building and system upgrades ensure we’re using resources responsibly. We have a robust recycling and composting program and use recycled materials whenever possible. As we work to phase out single-use plastics in our buildings, our gift shops do not offer plastic bags and our cafes have eliminated all disposable plastic foodware and beverage bottles.

The Animal Care and Rescue Center is LEED certified, and we’ve taken steps to ensure both the Aquarium and ACRC buildings are safe for migratory birds by adjusting lighting and adding protective film to exterior glass.

Advocacy

While we recognize how important it is that individuals and organizations act to protect natural resources, we also recognize that for large-scale change to occur, action must be taken at the local, national and federal levels. In addition to providing expert testimony to legislators, we support and advocate for scientific research, policies and legislation that protect wildlife and habitats, including the Endangered Species Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act, Clean Water Act, the creation and expansion of marine protected areas and the reduction of plastic pollution.

Support the National Aquarium Together, we can change the way humanity cares for our ocean planet.