Lead Sponsor of Chesapeake Bay Conservation Initiatives
Generous philanthropic funding from Constellation, the nation's leading clean energy company, supports an array of Aquarium conservation initiatives. Most recently, Constellation made a $1 million commitment to our Waterfront Campus project, including the installation of a solar tree on Pier 4 in 2022. The Waterfront Campus project has evolved into the Harbor Wetland exhibit, opening in 2024. The solar tree is a large-scale sculpture that's a functioning solar power collector and symbol of energy stewardship. It is just one part of the organizations' combined commitment to supporting clean energy development and lowering the Aquarium's emissions to net-zero by 2035.
"The National Aquarium makes an incredible impact through conservation and education programs, and Harbor Wetland will expand this reach to even more visitors," said Constellation's Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer Jim McHugh. "This expansion, which will provide hands-on science education for local students, will highlight the Aquarium's longstanding commitment to clean energy and we're thrilled to support it."
At the Aquarium, Constellation Conservation Carts throughout the exhibit galleries educate and entertain guests. The carts encourage guests to have conversations with Aquarium staff experts while engaging with animals, examining artifacts and exploring interactive iPad programs. Topics include choosing sustainable seafood, mitigating marine debris, reducing your carbon footprint, adopting "enjoy-respect-protect" ethics, and addressing ocean acidification, among others.
"Constellation is proud to support the National Aquarium in its efforts to educate and connect the community with the Chesapeake Bay and the importance of environmental stewardship."
By partnering with Constellation and OneEnergy Renewables on a 4.3-megawatt grid-connection solar generator, the National Aquarium is receiving a significant portion of renewable energy credits from the project. The solar farm project is part of a 25-year electric supply agreement with Constellation to help the Aquarium manage utility costs and encourage the development of renewable energy in Maryland.
In addition to the use of solar technology, the Aquarium's partnership with Constellation has made it possible to incorporate other best practices in sustainable operations, such as replacing florescent lightbulbs with LED bulbs throughout the Aquarium's campus.