www.baltimoresun.com/business/bs-bz-dc-aquarium-closing-20130509,0,7409152.story

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Aquarium in D.C. to close; animals will be sent to Baltimore

Closure due to renovations on the Department of Commerce building

By Carrie Wells, The Baltimore Sun

5:31 PM EDT, May 9, 2013

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The National Aquarium in Washington will close this fall as a nearby building is renovated, and some of the 1,500 animals will be sent to Baltimore, aquarium officials said Thursday.

In an email to aquarium members, John Racanelli, CEO of the National Aquarium, said the D.C. location will close Sept. 30 due to renovations on the Department of Commerce building. The aquarium is located on the building's lower level.

The closure will not affect the National Aquarium in Baltimore, the email said, though it will have to accommodate some of the fish, reptiles, bird and amphibians from Washington. The General Services Administration has told the aquarium it must leave the building by March 2014, aquarium officials said.

It is unclear where and when the D.C. aquarium will reopen. Kate Hendrickson, a spokeswoman for the National Aquarium, said it has not yet been determined which animals or how many will move to Baltimore, and that some will go to other aquariums.

"We are committed to a continued presence in the capital, where a public aquarium has existed since the late 1800s," Racanelli said. "I am working with a task force of National Aquarium Board members to explore opportunities and funding options that would support this goal."

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