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To Dive Deeper

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To Chart New Seas

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Hands-On Learning, Beyond Baltimore

Empowerment Through Experience

More than 200 Baltimore students embarked on adventure in 2016 through the National Aquarium’s Henry Hall program, trading city streets for natural environments and gaining a deeper understanding of the connection we share with water.

Chapter 01
Building Fearless Leaders

In Maine, Shatera found the courage to discover her inner leader.

Shatera discovered that outside the classroom, she could practice the skill of leading instead of following.

A Seabird Success Story

Henry Hall students observed the world’s first restored colony of Atlantic puffins, which comes to nest on the rocky coastal islands of Maine every year.

Ebb and Flow

The rising and falling ocean tide fuels an incredible assortment of life in Maine's tide pools.

The rising and falling ocean tide fuels an incredible assortment of life in the tide pools found along Maine’s rocky shoreline. Real estate is competitive here, and the resilient animals in the narrow intertidal zone have adapted to the ever-changing environment.

Land and sea meet at the narrow intertidal zone, where pockets of life are teeming with biodiversity. Tide pools represent microcosms of much larger, complex ecosystems, which come to life along Maine's rocky shoreline. Real estate is competitive, and the resilient animals here—including sea stars, snails and hermit crabs—have adapted to the ever-changing environment.

Chapter 02
Make Yourself Proud

Tia left her comfort zone, and zip code, to explore the unknown.

In Florida, Tia learned the importance of following her passions and being proud of herself.

Snorkeling at Sombrero

The idyllic Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary is one of more than a dozen protected underwater parks nationwide.

Magical Mangroves

Among the roots of a mangrove forest is one of the most biologically productive ecosystems in the world.

The half-land, half-water landscape of mangrove forests provides habitat for a stunning variety of wildlife, both above and below the water. These semi-terrestrial forests also provide a natural buffer against storm surges and hurricanes, but their fate remains unclear as the strength of storms continues to intensify, amid other effects of climate change.

Among the semi-terrestrial mangrove forest, you can find one of the world’s most biologically productive ecosystems. The propped roots offer critical nursery habitat for a host of fishes, and the root system stabilizes the coastline to help prevent erosion.

Chapter 03
Gaining Perspective

Outside the classroom, adventure awaits.

Connecting with the natural world in Louisiana allowed Krystal, John and Alexis to develop a fresh outlook on learning and life.

A Renowned Reptile

The American alligator bounced back from near-extinction in the marshy freshwater habitats of Louisiana.

Welcome to the Gulf

The Mississippi River, and its extensive, braided wetland system, eventually empties into the Gulf of Mexico.

More than 33 major rivers feed into the immense Gulf basin, which encompasses an area of approximately 615,000 square miles. The combination of subsidence and sea level rise has resulted in a slow sinking of the massive stretch of low-laying Louisiana wetlands—which constitute about 40 percent of the wetlands in the continental United States—into the Gulf.

The combination of subsidence and sea level rise has resulted in a slow sinking of the massive stretch of low-laying Louisiana wetlands—which constitute about 40 percent of the wetlands in the continental United States—into the Gulf of Mexico.

Chapter 04
A Breath of Fresh Air

Nigel discovered the opportunity to relax, reflect and reconnect with nature.

Swapping the fast pace of city life for the tranquility of the Chesapeake Bay allowed Nigel to experience the natural world firsthand.

Crustacean of the Chesapeake

There’s no animal more iconic in the brackish waters of Chesapeake Bay than the Maryland blue crab.

Spat and Spawn

Restoring Maryland's oyster population, one mollusk at a time.

This bivalve mollusk is critically important to the state of Maryland, both economically and ecologically. Their populations in the Chesapeake Bay region have dramatically decreased to less than 1 percent of historic levels, and hatcheries—such as the one here at Horn Point—are helping to provide key restoration.

The populations of this bivalve mollusk in the Chesapeake Bay region have dramatically decreased to less than 1 percent of historic levels, and hatcheries—such as the one here at Horn Point—are helping to provide key restoration.

Empower students to become passionate protectors of our blue planet. Share their stories.

Education programs, such as Henry Hall, allow the National Aquarium to inspire the next generation of conservationists. Visit aqua.org to learn more.