On September 30, 2013 the National Aquarium in Washington, DC, will be closing its doors.  The aquarium is located in the building of the Department of Commerce, which will be closing for renovations on that date, and the General Services Administration (GSA) is requiring the aquarium to vacate its space in the building by March 2014. 

After the 30th, the aquarium will begin the process of moving its 1,500 specimens to new homes across the country, with many going to the National Aquarium in Baltimore.  In a press release, Tamika Langley Tremaglio, National Aquarium D.C. chair states:

"Here at the National Aquarium, we value our DC venue's rich history as the nation's first public aquarium, and we are committed to maintaining a presence in the capital, where a public aquarium has existed since the late 1800s."

The National Aquarium in DC was established in 1873 and first opened its door to visitors in 1885, housing a collection of 180 species of fish, reptiles and other aquatic animals at the time.  The Herbert C. Hoover Building, which housed the current aquarium, was constructed in the 1930s.  Both the U.S. Commerce Department and the National Aquarium have been in that building for over eighty years. 

Although the oldest operating aquarium in the United States, the National Aquarium lost federal funding in 1982 but was able to continue operations thanks to a privately funded organization.  The Board of Directors of the National Aquarium has announced plans to explore funding and a location for a future aquarium, but have also stressed that the closing of the DC aquarium will not affect the one in Baltimore. 

The aquarium is open Sunday through Thursday from 9 am to 6 pm. Friday and Saturday hours are 9 am to 7 pm.  Admission is $9.95 for adults, $8.95 for senior citizens and military, $4.95 for children ages 3 to 11, and free for children under the age of three. Admission for members is free.