National Wildlife Federation and National Aquarium Formally Join Forces

Partnership will link conservation efforts from Appalachia to the Chesapeake Bay, and the Atlantic Ocean.

11-17-2011 // Aileo Weinmann
Underside of sting ray

The National Aquarium and the National Wildlife Federation have joined forces to protect wildlife and water resources for future generations. Approved by unanimous vote at the most recent Board of Directors meeting, the National Aquarium has been selected as the National Wildlife Federation’s Maryland affiliate. This partnership will link conservation efforts from Appalachia, to the Chesapeake Bay, and the Atlantic Ocean.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to align the efforts of this nation’s aquarium with one of its most effective conservation organizations,” said John Racanelli, CEO of the National Aquarium. “The National Aquarium team has worked tirelessly over the past 30 years to preserve and protect the Chesapeake Bay, in that time restoring 155 acres of bay shorelines with 1.4 million individual native plants, shrubs and trees. This exciting new alliance will allow us to further expand our reach and strengthen our impact.”

“We are delighted to welcome the National Aquarium into the Federation’s family of 48 affiliates,” said Larry Schweiger, president and CEO of National Wildlife Federation. “The National Aquarium is the trusted voice of the aquatic world, filling visitors with a sense of wonder, educating them about the threats to our oceans and water resources, and inspiring them to take individual action.”

The National Aquarium is headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, with an additional location in Washington, D.C., and is engaged in pioneering science and research, conservation, and educational programming. Last year, the National Aquarium launched a new Conservation Center, solidifying the organization’s role as a nationally-recognized and respected conservation institute that measures success in how it impacts people and the environment. In addition to having world-class exhibits, the National Aquarium reaches thousands of children and adults each year through school programs like AquaPartners, marsh restoration efforts in the Chesapeake Bay, and cutting-edge research to study contaminants in Baltimore Harbor.

Maryland is part of NWF’s Chesapeake Mid-Atlantic region, one of nine such regions throughout the United States. Affiliates in each region work together and with partners to advance conservation and protect the region’s unique natural treasures. The Mid-Atlantic region includes Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Washington D.C., Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina.

“The National Aquarium will be a great addition to our region-wide efforts to conserve our resources and to connect families with the natural world,” said Tony Caligiuri, NWF Mid-Atlantic regional executive director. “We’re already collaborating on important efforts to restore the Chesapeake Bay and look forward to working together ensure that aquatic habitats are preserved for future generations.”

“Both of our organizations are dedicated to inspiring people to take an active role in protecting our natural resources,” said Laura Bankey, director of conservation of the National Aquarium. “We are excited about the national impact we will have by joining together to protect and restore our ecosystems.”

National Wildlife Federation, founded 75 years ago, has 4 million members and supporters nationwide. Affiliate representatives elect the NWF Board of Directors and set the organization’s policy objectives in the form of resolutions. NWF has more than 82,000 members and supporters in Maryland.

The National Aquarium is a non-profit, nationally recognized conservation, aquatic display and education organization with locations in Baltimore, MD, and Washington, D.C. The National Aquarium inspires 1.5 million people each year to conserve the world’s aquatic treasures, is globally engaged in aquatic conservation; a world-class entertainment attraction with engaging exhibits; committed to education with programs that connect children with the aquatic environment; a sought-after partner with alliances around the world; and the #1 tourist attraction in Maryland, and unique in Washington, D.C, with more than 16,000 animals in its living collections.

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