BlackTip Reef Behind the Scenes – National Aquarium in Baltimore
Posted on July 08, 2013

image6It was a rainy Tuesday afternoon when our Maryland Concierge Team took a trip to Fells Point in Baltimore, Md. Tucked along Wolfe Street we found the National Aquarium’s Warehouse, something most people don’t even know exists and many will never see. We are among the lucky few! From the outside it’s a typical city warehouse, but upon stepping inside we discovered a hidden aquatic wonderland.

Ashleigh, an aquarist with the National Aquarium, gave our concierges a behind-the-scenes tour of their upcoming exhibit, Blacktip Reef. Their warehouse is a multi-purpose site, used to create scenery and backdrops for upcoming exhibits, like the coral reefs you will see in the Blacktip Reef exhibit, as well as prepare new animals for the aquarium and treat sick ones. The aquarists have spent countless hours carefully replicating a breathtaking Indo-Pacific reef that will stretch from the floor to the ceiling in Baltimore’s National Aquarium. The colorful reef has been precisely created using over 4,000 small pieces of actual reef. In effort to transition the fish to their vibrant new home, the staff has been sending divers into some of their tanks armed with flashlights to adjust the animals to flashing lights. Many aquarium visitors like to take pictures of the exhibits therefore the animals need to get used to a camera flash. Ashleigh told us about the processes to quarantine and treat animals that will be used in future exhibits and care for those that need some TLC before returning to the aquarium.

molly9Our concierges were very intrigued by the aquarium’s rescue efforts. Currently at their Fells Point warehouse they are caring for rescued sea turtles as well as stingrays. The aquarium was part of a turtle egg rescue effort during Hurricane Sandy and is currently rehabilitating other turtles to be released in the next few months. Ashleigh even shared her own personal story about receiving a phone call early one morning and racing to rescue three stingrays from a pond in Montgomery County, Md. These stingrays are still at the warehouse and on the mend!

We are so grateful to the National Aquarium for our sneak peek at their new exhibit and can’t wait to see the finished product! The grand opening of the Blacktip Reef exhibit is set to take place in early August and will be a permanent addition to the National Aquarium. Throughout the month of July various animals will be added to the exhibit and given the opportunity to adjust to their new home. We don’t want to spoil anything but here is what you can expect in their new exhibit: Blacktip Sharks, stingrays, a variety of turtles, beautiful coral reef fish and more.

IMG_8123This trip was a part of a program we call Charm School, where our concierges are given the opportunity to explore local events and venues and are then encouraged to share what they learned and enjoyed with their clients. The Blacktip Reef exhibit is concierge tested, approved and highly recommended. We will keep everyone posted on the final Grand Opening date for the exhibit and in the meantime visit our Facebook page to check out all of the great behind the scenes pictures from our tour!