The National Aquarium was established in 1873 in Massachusetts, then relocated to Washington DC in 1878. In 2003, DC’s National Aquarium merged operations with the much larger National Aquarium at Baltimore, Maryland. Much of DC’s livestock will be relocated to Baltimore.
The aquariums board of directors is considering moving the aquarium to another location in Washington DC such as the Smithsonian in order continue the long-standing tradition of having a public aquarium in the nation’s capital.
National Aquarium, Washington DC’s press release is provided below:
The Board of Directors of the National Aquarium, Washington, DC, has announced that, due to necessary renovations in the Department of Commerce building, the facility will be closing on September 30, 2013. The General Services Administration (GSA) requires National Aquarium to vacate its current space in the building by March 2014.
This September 30 closing date allows National Aquarium, Washington, DC, to meet GSA’s March deadline using a timeline that accommodates its main priority: the needs of its animals and staff. The collection of more than 1,500 animals will be transitioned to new homes at either National Aquarium, Baltimore, or at other accredited aquariums.
“Here at the National Aquarium, we value our DC venue’s rich history as the nation’s first public aquarium, and we are committed to maintaining a presence in the capital, where a public aquarium has existed since the late 1800s,” said Tamika Langley Tremaglio, National Aquarium, Washington, DC, Board Chair.
A task force of National Aquarium Board members is exploring opportunities and funding options that would support this goal. The closure will not impact the operation of National Aquarium, Baltimore, one of the nation’s leading aquariums.
Established in 1873, the National Aquarium, Washington, DC, first opened its doors to visitors in 1885 with a collection of 180 species of fish, reptiles and other aquatic animals.