Left to right: The red building with a green glass front (north) wall holds the 2005 extension, the blue building with the glass pyramid top is the main building of poured concrete construction from 1981, and behind it, across a pedestrian bridge to the east is the Pier 4 marine mammal pavilion. The National Aquarium (formerly known originally as the Baltimore Aquarium when it opened in 1981, then shortly later as the National Aquarium in Baltimore) is a non-profit public aquarium located at 501 East Pratt Street on Pier 3 in the Inner Harbor area of downtown Baltimore, Maryland in the United States. Constructed during a period of urban renewal in Baltimore, the aquarium opened on August 8, 1981. The aquarium has an annual attendance of 1.5 million visitors and is the largest tourism attraction in the State of Maryland. The Aquarium holds more than of water, and has more than 17,000 specimens representing over 750 species. In 2003, the National Aquarium and the much older independent National Aquarium in Washington joined as one National Aquarium with two sites until 2013. The National Aquarium's mission is to inspire conservation of the world's aquatic treasures. The aquarium's stated vision is to confront pressing issues facing global aquatic habitats through pioneering science, conservation, and educational programming. The National Aquarium houses several exhibits including the Upland Tropical Rain Forest, a multiple-story Atlantic Coral Reef, an open ocean shark tank, and Australia: Wild Extremes, which won the "Best Exhibit" award from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums in 2008. The aquarium also has a 4D Immersion Theater. The aquarium opened a marine mammal pavilion on the adjacent south end of Pier 4 in 1990, and currently holds seven Atlantic bottlenose dolphins. Of the seven, six were born at the National Aquarium, one was born at another American aquarium.
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National Aquarium, Baltimore
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