Shipboard open house
After completing pollution surveys in the Chester River and Baltimore harbor, the 133-foot research ship Ferrel will tie up next to the National Aquarium and welcome the public from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. today.
Operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Ferrel is part of a fleet of research and survey ships based at the agency's Atlantic Marine Center in Norfolk. It generally operates in Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coastal waters.
During its most recent cruise, scientists were sampling bottom sediments and examining bottom-feeding fish trawled from Baltimore-area waters for signs of pollution.
Scientists and officers will be aboard today to give guided tours and answer questions about the survey, which is part of NOAA's 10-year Status and Trends Program to determine pollution levels and environmental quality in U.S. coastal waters. Baltimore's top tourist attraction is awaiting the arrival of the 15 millionth visitor since its opening in 1981. The National Aquarium's attendance is running close to 1.5 million turnstile clicks annually, and No. 15,000,000 is expected sometime next week.
That person will arrive to a fanfare and greetings from the big fish tank's costumed mascot, "Puffin," and receive a passel of prizes, including a two-night stay at the Admiral Fell Inn, an aquatic kite from The Kite Loft, a "Clam Bake to Go" from Phillips Restaurant, dinner for four at the Chart House, an Orioles souvenir and an Aquarium family membership.
An exhibition, described as the world's largest, of educational materials, technology and media for children with disabilities and the gifted and talented will be open to the public Tuesday through Thursday at the Baltimore Convention Center.
The display is being held in conjunction with the 70th annual Convention for Exceptional Children, which is expected to bring 9,000 special education professionals to Baltimore from around the world.
Exhibition hours: April 14, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.; April 15, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; April 16, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission: $20.