National Aquarium marks 40 years bringing visitors to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor

Gov. Larry Hogan attends a celebration of the National Aquarium’s 40th anniversary in Baltimore on Tuesday, Aug. 3. (Courtesy Maryland Governor’s Office)

Maryland leaders marked the National Aquarium’s 40th anniversary Tuesday, crediting the institution with bringing millions worth of economic activity every year to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.

At an outdoor event celebrating its four decades of operation, Gov. Larry Hogan said the National Aquarium generates $455 million annually and supports 4,500 jobs throughout the state — including 350 at the aquarium.

It draws more than 1.2 million visitors to the Inner Harbor in a typical year, he added, noting the aquarium blew its initial projection of 650,000 guests out of the water when it first opened.

“Since 1981, the National Aquarium has been not only an amazing tourist destination and educational resource, but also a major economic anchor for Baltimore City,” Hogan said.

“Our administration has been proud to strongly support the aquarium’s continued success over the years, and I want to congratulate everyone who has played a role in reaching this important milestone.”

The aquarium turns 40 on Sunday, and will kick off its forties with a restoration of the 684-pane glass pyramid above the Upland Tropical Rain Forest exhibit — made possible by a $7 million allotment from Hogan and the Maryland General Assembly.

The Baltimore-based aquarium and its exhibits represent a small part of the non-profit’s broader work: Its mission statement extends to wildlife conservation, cutting down on pollution and combating climate change.

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow WTOP on Twitter and Instagram to engage in conversation about this article and others.

Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.

© 2021 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

Alejandro Alvarez

Alejandro Alvarez joined WTOP as a digital journalist and editor in June 2018. He is a reporter and photographer focusing on politics, political activism and international affairs.

Federal News Network Logo

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up